England recall Upson as Europe get ready for EURO 2012
Fabio Capello has named an experienced looking England squad for the upcoming EURO 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland. Already under fire from the English media and fans after a dismal performance in South Africa, the Italian manager has decided to recall experienced defender Matthew Upson in order to add value to an already depleted England defence as both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are injured.
Theo Walcott’s impressive start to the season has not avoided the wily eyes of Mr. Capello and the Arsenal forward makes a deserved return to the Three Lions squad that would face off against Bulgaria at home on Friday before embarking on a tricky trip to Switzerland four days later on September 7.
West Ham defender Upson had a poor World Cup in the summer and as a result was left out of the friendly against Hungary earlier this month but finds his place as England need to be on their toes in a tricky looking group G that also has Wales and Montenegro for company.
The full England squad
Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion), Ben Foster (Birmingham City), Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Defenders: Gary Cahill (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), James Milner (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa).
Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Seven weeks and five days after capturing the FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, Vicente del Bosque’s Spain return to competitive action in modest surroundings with a visit to Liechtenstein’s Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz .
For Spain, it is the start of their defence of the European title they won in Vienna two years ago. With the world crown now theirs too, Spain’s aim is to become the first team to retain the Henri Delaunay Cup and it all starts on Thursday as Israel host Malta in the first of the twenty three ties scheduled for this week.
A look at the qualifying groups and notable fixtures
Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
Sep 3: Kazakhstan v Turkey(Astana), Belgium v Germany(Brussels)
Group B: Andorra, Armenia, Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Macedonia
Sep 3: Armenia v Rep. of Ireland(Yerevan), Andorra v Russia(Andorra La Vella), Slovakia v Macedonia(Bratislava)
Group C: Estonia, Slovenia, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Italy, Faroe Islands
Sep 3: Faroe Islands v Serbia(Torshavn), Estonia v Italy(Talinn), Slovenia v Northern Ireland(Maribor)
Group D: France, Bosnia, Luxembourg, Albania, Belarus, Romania
Sep 3: Luxembourg v Bosnia(Luxembourg), Romania v Albania( Piatra Neamt), France v Belarus(Paris)
Group E: Finland, Sweden, Moldova, Hungary, Netherlands, San Marino
Sep 3: Moldova v Finland(Chisinau), Sweden v Hungary(Solna), San Marino v Netherlands(Serravalle)
Group F: Malta, Latvia, Greece, Georgia, Croatia, Israel
Sep 2: Israel v Malta(Tel Aviv), Sep 3: Greece v Georgia(Piraeus), Latvia v Croatia(Riga)
Group G: Wales, England, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Switzerland
Sep 3: Montenegro v Wales(Podgorica), England v Bulgaria(London)
Group H: Portugal, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Cyprus
Sep 3: Portugal v Cyprus(Guimaraes), Iceland v Norway(Reykjavik)
Group I: Spain, Scotland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein
Sep 3: Lithuania v Scotland(Kaunas), Liechtenstein v Spain(Vaduz)