Bent and Huddlestone get England starts

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:20

Bent and Huddlestone get England starts

Fabio Capello needs to cut seven players from his preliminary squad of 30 ahead of the tournament in South Africa.
Sunderland striker Bent did not feature in the 3-1 win over Mexico on Monday because of a hamstring injury.
Capello opted to start with Peter Crouch, who scored his 21st England goal, and bring on Jermain Defoe in the second half.
Bent scored 24 times in the Premier League last term, more than Defoe, Crouch and Emile Heskey. He has yet to score a senior international goal, though.
Tottenham midfielder Huddlestone was introduced from the bench against Mexico. And with doubts over the fitness of Manchester City’s Gareth Barry, he is a possible alternative in the holding midfield role.
“I have seen Huddlestone in a lot of games,” said Capello.
“This year he always played very well as a holding player and I am happy because he is here as he is one of the important English players.”
Capello has also confirmed David James will start his first international since the qualifying victory over the Ukraine at Wembley on April 1, 2009, 10 games ago.
In addition, Aaron Lennon will also be handed a place in Capello’s team to
face Japan, possibly on the left wing, where he has spent most of this week in
training.
Meanwhile, Capello confirmed reports about Gareth Barry’s fitness were becoming increasingly more positive, although the final decision will be made
after one last medical check on his troublesome ankle that is due to take place on June 1.
“He has improved a lot,” said Capello.
“He is getting better and better. The doctor says he is really good.
“But we have to wait until the last check next Tuesday. After that we will decide whether he will be with us in South Africa.
“If he can train normally following the first game against the United States (on June 12) he will come with us.
“If it is going to be longer he won’t be with us in South Africa.”
Kick-off in Graz is 1.15pm (BST)

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