6 Oct 2008

Owen still missing from England squad

4:49 pm on 6 October 2008

Michael Owen has again been overlooked as the England football coach Fabio Capello named his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The 28-year-old Newcastle United striker has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England but has still not convinced Capello about his fitness this season despite playing in his club's last six games. His last cap came against France in March.

Portsmouth forward Peter Crouch and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips return to the squad for the Group Six fixtures after good form for their clubs.

Crouch is one of four strikers in the squad, the others being Portsmouth team mate Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey.

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is ruled out with a foot injury after scoring for his club today while Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson is also missing because of a calf strain.

England, who top the group after away wins against Andorra and Croatia, face Kazakhstan at Wembley this weekend before facing Belarus in Minsk next week.


Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United), Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham Hotspur), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), David Beckham (LA Galaxy)

Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermaine Defoe (Portsmouth), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Emile Heskey (Wigan Athletic), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)

(Editing by Miles Evans)