Fergie expects Neville call
Sir Alex Ferguson expects Gary Neville to be considered for England's November friendly against Brazil.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 01/11/09 7:30pm
Sir Alex Ferguson expects Gary Neville to be considered for his first England appearance in almost three years in the friendly against Brazil later this month while Sunderland's Michael Turner has been linked with a surprise call-up.
The United manager's comments come after regular England right-back Glen Johnson tore a calf muscle which ruled him out of Liverpool's defeat Fulham on Saturday leading to doubts over the Reds' buccaneering defender's fitness.
Should Johnson fail to recover in time for the November 14 clash against the five-time World Cup winners, Three Lions boss Fabio Capello seems certain to call upon an experienced head to fill the void at full-back.
That leaves only a handful of choices which includes Micah Richards - who has failed to hit the heights of seasons previous in the current campaign, Wes Brown - who has not been a mainstay in the United defence for some time and his team-mate Neville.
And Ferguson knows who he would pick for the fixture which will be played at Khalifa International stadium in Qatar.
"I am not surprised at all," said the Red Devils boss in The Independent to hear that Neville has been linked with a Three Lions berth.
"He [Capello] has not got great options at right-back. Gary offers experience and his quality has not been diminished.
"His performance level has been very good when he's come into the team. He has not lost momentum, rhythm or energy.
"He has had a hard time in the last three years with injuries. He has survived because he is Gary Neville. He has a great desire to carry on."
Neville has impressed for United this term after a catalogue of injuries since winning his 85th England cap in February 2007 and has spent the last two years on the sidelines with an ankle and other muscular problems.
The 34-year-old veteran was suspended for Saturday night's win over Blackburn but is set to face CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday when United could book their UEFA Champions League knockout place.
Neville, who has once previously been named in a Capello squad this year, could be set to accompany uncapped Sunderland defender Michael Turner for the Brazil tie.
Capello has been assessing his options at centre-half following the lack of form shown by Rio Ferdinand, who is also currently injured.
Turner, along with fellow uncapped central defender Gary Cahill have caught the eye of the Italian coach in recent weeks and the pair look likely to be battling it out for the chance to represent their country in the Middle-East fixture.
While Neville is being lined up for a return from the international wilderness, fellow Red Devil shot-stopper Ben Foster could lose his place in the squad after warming the bench for the last three league games following Edwin van der Sar's return from injury.
Ready to step in Foster's place is the likes of Chris Kirkland, Paul Robinson and Joe Hart, who have all been regulars in the Premier League this month as have David James and Robert Green, who featured in England's last two World Cup qualifiers.