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In-form Dawson hoping to ease England defensive worries

| 20.06.2010

Fabio Capello’s problems keep piling up following England’s drab 0-0 draw with Algeria, as Jamie Carragher is the latest player to fall by the wayside.

The Liverpool defender will miss the final Group C match against Slovenia with suspension as he picked up his second yellow card of the tournament during the stalemate.

With Carragher unavailable, Capello will again have to reshuffle the English backline, with Michael Dawson and Matthew Upson vying to partner John Terry.

Choosing between the two will be a significant decision for Capello to make, as England prepare for a game they simply have to win. They remain a convincing 1/2 to beat Slovenia.

Dawson is considered the favourite to win a starting role against Slovenia as he is younger, quicker and in better form.

As an integral part of the Tottenham team who secured a club high Premier League finish of fourth place, Dawson would enter the England starting XI in excellent shape.

Upson, meanwhile, endured a tougher season with a West Ham side flirting with relegation. At 31, he is five years older than Dawson, and with a reputation for being injury-prone, Upson may struggle to dislodge his younger competitor.

England did manage to keep a clean sheet against Algeria, though this will have been scant consolation for Capello.

David James was solid enough having been recalled to the side, and his steadying influence will be assuring for the player who Capello selects at the heart of defence.

Can England recover from their false start? They are 10/1 to win the World Cup. See the full Tournament Winner market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.