Leighton Baines to replace Ashley Cole for England against San Marino
Last Updated: October 12, 2012 5:14pm
Leighton Baines is set to replace Ashley Cole at left-back for England in tonight's World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley.
Cole was charged by the FA with misconduct after last week's Twitter rant but boss Roy Hodgson will maintain he has been rested for football reasons against a side ranked joint-worst in the world, viewing Tuesday's match with Poland the sterner test.
Baines is due to be flanked by Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka, with Chelsea's Gary Cahill the other centre-half and Tottenham's Kyle Walker replacing suspended Glen Johnson at right-back for his first competitive start.
Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley will anchor the midfield, the latter with more license to go forward, while Arsenal pair Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are primed to start on the wings.
With Steven Gerrard suspended, Wayne Rooney wears the captain's armband for the first time in a competitive fixture and will be granted freedom to roam behind club team-mate Danny Welbeck.
Hodgson is unlikely to deploy Joleon Lescott, Jermain Defoe or James Milner at any stage tonight, with all three a yellow card away from missing Tuesday's trip to Poland.
Probable England starting XI: Hart; Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Walcott, Cleverley, Carrick, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Rooney, Welbeck.