Who will Bridge the gap - Potential England full-backs

25 February 2010 02:46
Wayne Bridge's decision to turn his back on England has left the door open for a handful of potential left-backs to force their way into Fabio Capello's squad, and potentially his starting line-up in their World cup opener against USA.

With Ashley Cole facing a fight for fitness after breaking his ankle, and his second-in-command Bridge throwing in the towel, here are Football.co.uk's five potential fill-ins.

1. James Milner

The Aston Villa star is not a left-back by trade, but whispers within the England camp seem to suggest he could do the job. Milner is not short of pace, strength and ability, but it would represent a sizeable gamble by Capello to opt for him at full-back. That said, Milner is highly rated by England staff and with England's midfield a closed shop, it just might happen.

2.  Leighton Baines

Everton full-back Baines is yet to win a senior cap for England, but has undoubtedly played a key role in his side's recent run of form and has earned rave reviews for his composed performances.

3. Stephen Warnock

Milner's Villa team-mate Warnock has made just one appearance for England, as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, but he was named in the recent squad against Brazil. A natural left-back, Warnock could get his first start against Egypt next week.

4. Joleon Lescott

Lescott is expected to fill in for Rio Ferdinand against Egypt, but could be asked to move across to full-back if Ashley Cole fails to recover in time for the World Cup.

5. Wes Brown

The Manchester United defender has bags of experience and could undoubtedly prove a reliable fill-in at left-back. Brown is strong in the air, and quick.

- Football.co.uk staff

Source: DSG