Bent to start against Japan
Darren Bent, Aaron Lennon and David James will start for England against Japan, Fabio Capello has revealed.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 29/05/10 5:27pm
Darren Bent, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon and David James will start for England against Japan, Fabio Capello has revealed.
The quartet have been handed a last opportunity to prove their worth ahead of the World Cup with the England coach admitting he is undecided on just three places of his 23-man squad.
James is expected to travel as one of three goalkeepers, but Capello admits a place apiece is up for grabs in defence, midfield and up front.
England take on Japan in Austria on Sunday, after which the Italian will be ever closer to a final decision on his squad to travel to South Africa, which will be announced on Tuesday.
"20 are sure to stay with me for South Africa," Capello told Sky Sports News, and when quizzed over the positions still available he replied: "One defender, one midfielder, one forward.
"Bent is fit, he will play tomorrow from the start. James will start in goal and Lennon also."
One of those uncertain to make the final panel of 23 is Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, who is struggling with an injury and Capello expects to wait until the last moment to decide if he is fit enough to travel.
Meanwhile, the Italian has quashed fears of Steven Gerrard's fitness and expects to use him as a second-half substitute against Japan in order to give other players a chance to impress.
"He's trained really well," said Capello of Gerrard. "He was tired after the game with Mexico but now he is fit.
"He will probably play the second half because I have to know some players better and I know him very well."
Capello hinted at deploying a five-man midfield for the friendly while calling on those involved to show 'the English Spirit' in their final workout before their opening World Cup game with USA on 12th June.