Ferdinand returns for Macedonia match

September 6, 2006

Rio Ferdinand returns to the England defence after making it through a training session at Skopje's Gradski Stadium.

EmpicsRio trains alone to improve his fitness

Ferdinand, 27, missed Saturday's 5-0 win over Andorra with a toe injury but boss Steve McClaren has drafted him back into his back four for Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier away to Macedonia.

Manchester United team-mate Wes Brown makes way in the heart of the defence after deputising for Ferdinand on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the England starting line-up remains unchanged from the side that eased to victory at Old Trafford.

Follow the game here: Macedonia v England

Jermain Defoe retains his place up front while Ben Foster is preferred to Chris Kirkland as back-up goalkeeper.

Midfielder Steven Gerrard makes his 50th appearance - more than six years after making his debut against Ukraine at Wembley.

Lazio forward Goran Pandev will play in a deeper role behind strikers Ilco Naumovski and Goran Maznov for Macedonia while the country's most capped player - former West Brom midfielder Artim Sakiri - is on the bench.