Manchester City defender Micah Richards pulls out of England U21 squad for crucial Euro qualifiers

02 September 2010 12:46
Micah Richards is the latest key player to pull out of the England Under-21 squad for their crucial final two European Championship qualifiers.

Manchester City defender Richards, 22, had reported sick after his club's Premier League defeat at Sunderland last weekend.

He was given extra time to recover but failed to do so in time to make the flight to Portugal for Friday's penultimate Group 9 clash.

Pulling out: Micah Richards in action for Manchester City at Sunderland last Sunday

Richards' withdrawal follows those of Jack Rodwell, Andy Carroll, Victor Moses, Henri Lansbury and Alex Smithies.

Midfield star Rodwell and forwards Carroll and Moses all pulled out with ankle injuries, while Lansbury had a groin problem and Smithies a dead leg.

The call-offs were bad news for England Under-21s, who need to win both Friday's match, and next Tuesday's game against Lithuania - and hope Greece do not win in Macedonia on Saturday - to guarantee a place in next summer's finals.

Smithies was replaced in the squad by Middlesbrough's Jason Steele for the Portugal game but could yet rejoin the party for next week's match in Colchester.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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