Unlucky seven wait for call from Capello

LONDON - England's unimpressive 2-1 win over Japan in Sunday's final World Cup warm-up answered few questions but there was at least general agreement on which players are likely to be axed from Fabio Capello's squad.

England needed two own goals to beat Japan in a lacklustre match in Graz, Austria that resembled a training exercise but Capello remained firmly focused on the real business next month.

The greatest significance of the match was that none of the hopefuls staked irresistible claims to places in the final 23-man squad which Capello will announce on Tuesday.

The Italian faces the unpleasant task of telling the unlucky seven they will not be going to South Africa and he must also discuss his own future with the English Football Association.

The make-up of the squad depends on the fitness of midfielder Gareth Barry.

Assuming he is passed fit, Tom Huddlestone's hopes of making the squad would appear to be over. He made his first start for England on Sunday but failed to impose himself as the holding midfield player.

Huddlestone is likely lose out to Michael Carrick, who may be out of form but has far more international experience.

The other six likely to be disappointed are Scott Parker, Adam Johnson, Michael Dawson, Stephen Warnock, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Darren Bent.


Parker, Dawson and Warnock played no part in either warm-up game against Mexico or Japan, while Johnson appeared for only six minutes.

Wright-Phillips played enthusiastically against Japan on his less favourite left side, but seems set to suffer disappointment as he did in 2006 when left out of Sven-Goran Eriksson's final squad for Germany.

There is still debate about whether Capello will take four or five strikers but it looks like Bent will be the one left behind with Emile Heskey providing more movement and space for Wayne Rooney to operate in.

Capello, linked with Inter Milan, was due to have talks with the FA on Monday following the departures of chairman David Triesman and chief executive Ian Watmore.

"I will speak with the new chairman," Capello said. "I have not spoken with anyone at Inter, but my name is in the newspapers and on the radio and they are an important team.

"I shook hands with (David) Triesman at the start of the season, but now I know nothing and must speak with the new chairman."

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