Saturday 18 November 2017

Barry passed fit and hoping to face USA

Sam Wallace

There was good news for England yesterday when medical staff revealed that Gareth Barry has made such a quick recovery that he could even play in their World Cup opener against the USA on 12 June.

Barry's biggest obstacle to playing in that fixture will be match-fitness, but the Manchester City midfielder's ankle injury is now expected to have healed fully by then.

Stephen Warnock pipped Leighton Baines to the left-back understudy role behind Ashley Cole after Fabio Capello lost faith in the Everton man following a poor performance against Mexico.

Otherwise there were few surprises with Michael Dawson, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson and Darren Bent also left out of the final squad that flies today to Johannesburg and then on to their base in Phokeng outside Rustenburg.

The full list of squad numbers will be released by Fifa over the next week, with David James having been alotted the No 1 jersey.

There are also suggestions that Peter Crouch is named in the first 11 numbers, but the England camp are adamant that nothing should be read into the allocation of the team's numbers.

In the meantime, the FA are hopeful of announcing that they have signed a new contract with Capello today in which both parties will have deleted the break clause in the deal which allows him to leave on reduced compensation terms this summer.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti had expressed interest in exploiting the clause. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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