Crouch looms large in Eriksson's thoughts

May 8, 2006

England will rely heavily on Liverpool striker Peter Crouch if neither Michael Owen nor Wayne Rooney are fit.

The 6ft 7in Crouch was named in England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's provisional 23-man squad for the World Cup, with 17-year-old Theo Walcott the only other striker.

And if Rooney and Owen fail to recover sufficiently from metatarsal injuries, Eriksson will look to Crouch to provide the goals.

Eriksson told www.thefa.com: 'If that case arises, we have lots of choices.

'We can continue with 4-4-2, with Crouch up top and one behind.

'Or we could play 4-3-3 with Crouch alone and two wingers, and we have lots of wingers.

'Or we could play 4-5-1 with Crouch up top and five midfielders, so we have options.'

Crouch, a £7million buy when he joined Liverpool from Southampton, made his debut for England against Colombia on last year's tour of the United States and netted his first goal for his country on his fifth appearance, a 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay in March.