England awaiting news on Gareth Barry’s World Cup hopes

24th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

England World Cup Betting hopes could all change around the results of tests on Gareth Barry. England’s number one holding midfielder Gareth Barry, should soon know the fate of his summer. The Manchester City player picked up an ankle injury in a crucial league match against Tottenham at the end of the Barclays Premier League season, which has put his World Cup participation under threat. The injury happened on May 5th, and he was immediately diagnosed with a break from action for around four weeks, which put him beyond the deadline of June 1st, when Fabio Capello has to name his official World Cup squad. Barry, who played the pivotal role of holding a defensive role in England’s midfield during qualification, will now undergo tests on Tuesday to see what his chances of playing at South Africa 2010 are. Coach Capello may be forced into looking at alternatives, looking at Carrick and Aston Villa star James Milner who started in the international friendly against Mexico on Monday. 

If Barry withdraws from the squad, it could have major repercussions for Capello’s plan. It has already forced the England boss into admitting that he may need to look at alternative formations, as Barry worked well in allowing Frank Lampard to roam forward for England. There are options for Capello of course, such as bringing Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard back into the middle, but Gerrard and Lampard have never impressed together in the middle of the park. Capello could lean towards a straight replacement for Barry in England’s World Cup fixtures, such as Manchester United’s Michael Carrick, Tottenham’s Tom Huddlestone, West Ham’s Scott Parker or even Ledley King. There are options, but it will be a test of England’s strength in depth, however Capello decides to go. The coach has just two international friendlies to try and work out what will be best if Barry can’t make the World Cup.

England play the USA in Rustenburg on June 12th, and Barry was firmly penned in as a starter. Capello’s own stipulations over player fitness means that he may have to change his mind over the policy that he wouldn’t take anyone with him who wasn’t fit enough to play in that first match. Will Capello take a chance on Barry and allow him more time to get fit as the tournament progresses? The tests that Barry will undergo will help Capello make this crucial decision. Even if Capello does not name Barry in the 23 man squad on June 1st, there is some leeway for the City midfielder and the England management, in that FIFA rules do allow for some changes after the initial announcement. This involves players who are ruled out of action through injury, so even if not picked in the 23, Barry could push his way in as a late arrival.

England will be heading back to Austria on Tuesday, as they fine tune their World Cup preparations at altitude ahead of their trip to South Africa. They will play one more friendly against another team participating in the World Cup Japan, in Graz, Austria on May 30th.

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