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Monday, June 21, 2010
Upson to partner Terry

Harry Harris and Soccernet staff

Fabio Capello has confirmed Matthew Upson will replace Jamie Carragher for England's crucial World Cup tie against Slovenia.

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With Ledley King out injured and Carragher missing due to suspension, Fabio Capello has confirmed that he will overlook the claims of Michael Dawson and turn to West Ham defender Upson as England seek to salvage their World Cup campaign.

"Upson will play because he always played with John Terry and I probably will change some others," Capello told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Soccernet understands it is unlikely that Steven Gerrard will be used in a support role to Wayne Rooney, although Emile Heskey is in danger of losing his place as Group C comes to a tense conclusion.

Many of the England senior players, as former captain John Terry expressed, would like to see Joe Cole selected, and Cole is under consideration along with Jermian Defoe. It is understood Capello might spring a real surprise and play both Cole and Defoe. Heskey is one who will be left out and the other might be Aaron Lennon.

A well placed source within Capello's camp told Soccernet: "Wayne Rooney likes playing with Emile Heskey, he feels Emile is his best partner and feels more comfortable, so it was natural to start with Heskey as that partnership worked so well in the qualifying games.

"But it is clear that Rooney is not playing well, but neither is the team in general, so Fabio Capello is ready to change the shape of the team, and that means the way England play up front. If Rooney is played up front on his own, then Joe Cole would be the best support player. But I would say Cole is 50-50 to start, he might come on, but Defoe posses more of a goal threat and looked like he would score when he came off the bench.

"I don't think Gerrard is an option to play as the second striker. So many people want Gerrard in an advanced role like this, but you have to be careful, as Gerrard is so valuable in midfield. Even when the team was so flat against Algeria, Gerrard was braver than anybody else, brave in the sense that he wanted the ball, he was calling for the ball, so you would need to be careful to ask him to play so forward."

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