David Beckham is set to cap his England comeback by starting in Friday’s friendly against Brazil. The former captain is set to play after Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon withdrew from the squad because of a knee injury.
Defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson have been forced to pull out of the England squad to face Brazil and Estonia because of groin injuries. Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher could come in for Friday’s friendly against Brazil at the new Wembley Stadium and the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on 6 June.
Ferdinand and Dawson’s absence leaves England manager Steve McClaren with a defensive headache. Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Jonathan Woodgate and Micah Richards have already been ruled out, meaning McClaren is now without three of his four first-choice defenders.
Cole’s back-up at left-back Wayne Bridge is also a major doubt for the game against Brazil, with Reading’s Nicky Shorey standing by for his first full cap. Carragher and Ledley King will compete for the right to partner skipper John Terry in defence and, if Carragher is chosen, Phil Neville is almost certain to come in at right-back.
Lennon was ruled out after twisting a knee during England B’s 3-1 win against Albania last Friday. This means McClaren is ready to start with Real Madrid midfielder Beckham against the Brazilians.
Beckham has not played for England since he came off injured in the World Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of Portugal last July, after which he announced his resignation as captain.
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