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Friday, June 18, 2010
James to face Algeria as Green dropped

John Brewin, Johannesburg

FIFA has confirmed England have chosen David James to replace Robert Green in goal for England tonight in their World Cup Group C match against Algeria in Cape Town.

England train in Cape Town.

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Fabio Capello's selection represents his first big decision of the tournament and has apparently been taken after a shaky final training session by Green, whose error gifted USA with an equaliser in England's opening match.

The Italian had signalled something of an open mind on the goalkeeping situation when saying that he would speak to Green ahead of making any decision but now seems to have made his choice on the West Ham goalkeeper.

Such a move is likely to shatter Green's fragile confidence and leave England with the option of just two goalkeepers in James and Joe Hart. As so often with England in major tournaments, big decisions and major alterations are having to be made with the tournament already underway.

James' comparative lack of first-team football from an injury-hit and troubled season at Portsmouth, in conjunction with a knee problem aggravated on the flight to South Africa, had seemed likely to see him again reduced to the role of unused substitute, as at Germany 2006. His only previous tournament action came at Euro 2004.

Gareth Barry, now fit again, also returns to the starting line-up, with captain Steven Gerrard moving out to the left, while Emile Heskey keeps his place alongside Wayne Rooney.

In defence, Jamie Carragher gets the nod alongside John Terry having come on as a substitute for the injured Ledley King against USA.

England: James, Johnson, Carragher, Terry, A Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Barry, Gerrard, Rooney, Heskey.

Algeria: Mbolhi, Bougherra, Halliche, Yahia, Belhadj, Kadir, Lacen, Yebda, Matmour, Ziani, Boudebouz.

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