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Group G leaders aim to press home advantage

Published: Sunday 29 May 2011, 10.00CET
Both defending a six-point advantage over their visitors, joint section leaders England and Montenegro host Switzerland and Bulgaria respectively in the latest round of Group G games.
Group G leaders aim to press home advantage
England centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and John Terry ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 29 May 2011, 10.00CET

Group G leaders aim to press home advantage

Both defending a six-point advantage over their visitors, joint section leaders England and Montenegro host Switzerland and Bulgaria respectively in the latest round of Group G games.

England and Montenegro will continue their tussle for top spot in Group G by looking for home wins against sides six points off the summit. Currently top on goal difference, England will be facing a Switzerland team eager to avenge their 3-1 home defeat last September, while Montenegro take on fifth-placed Bulgaria. rounds up the team news.

4 June: England v Switzerland, Montenegro v Bulgaria

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Manchester United FC defender Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora of Fulham FC have each earned recalls to the England squad for the first time in 2011. Former England captain Ferdinand, who missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup with a knee ligament injury and has struggled with a troublesome calf this term, returns to the international fold alongside Zamora, who missed five months of the Premier League season after breaking his leg in September.

With Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney missing through suspension, Zamora will vie for a starting berth with Aston Villa FC striker Darren Bent and Tottenham Hotspur FC pair Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe. Former Spurs midfielder Michael Carrick, now at United, has been forced to withdraw through injury.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City FC), Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion FC), David Stockdale (Fulham FC), Rob Green* (West Ham United FC).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton FC), Gary Cahill (Bolton Wanderers FC), Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United FC), Phil Jagielka (Everton FC), Glen Johnson (Liverpool FC), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City FC), John Terry (Chelsea FC), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City FC), Michael Carrick (Manchester United FC), Stewart Downing (Aston Villa FC), Adam Johnson (Manchester City FC), Frank Lampard (Chelsea FC), James Milner (Manchester City FC), Scott Parker (West Ham United FC), Theo Walcott (Arsenal FC), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal FC), Ashley Young (Aston Villa FC). 

Forwards: Darren Bent (Aston Villa FC), Peter Crouch, (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Bobby Zamora (Fulham FC).

Innocent Emeghara, Admir Mehmedi and Granit Xhaka are new names in the Switzerland squad, as the nation faces its first qualifiers since prolific strikers Alexander Frei and Marco Streller ended their international careers. Emeghara, 22, and Mehmedi, 20, may find themselves thrust into action up front, with coach Ottmar Hitzfeld saying: "We are lacking strikers aged around 25 or 26 years of age, so I had to call up really young ones to fill the gap." Xhaka, 18, gets a midfield berth, with Gökhan Inler to replace Frei as captain.

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (VfL Wolfsburg), Marco Wölfli (BSC Young Boys), Johnny Leoni (FC Zürich).

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Arsenal FC), Stéphane Grichting (AJ Auxerre), Stephan Lichtsteiner (S.S. Lazio), Philippe Senderos (Fulham FC) Scott Sutter (BSC Young Boys), Steve von Bergen (AC Cesena), Reto Ziegler (UC Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Valon Behrami (ACF Fiorentina), Blerim Dzemaili (Parma FC), Gelson Fernandes (AS Saint-Etienne), Gökhan Inler (Udinese Calcio), Xavier Margairaz (FC Zürich), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Xherdan Shaqiri (FC Basel 1893), Granit Xhaka (FC Basel 1893).

Forwards: Eren Derdiyok (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Innocent Emeghara (Grasshopper-Club), Admir Mehmedi (FC Zürich).

Lotthar Matthäus has called up PFC CSKA Sofia midfielder Marquinhos, who becomes the third Brazilian-born footballer to be selected for Bulgaria, following in the footsteps of Thiago Silva and Lucio Wágner. Returning to the fold is experienced defender Valentin Iliev, who replaces the injured Kostadin Stoyanov, but FC Terek Grozny midfielder Blagoy Georgiev is suspended.

Goalkeepers: Nikolay Mihaylov (FC Twente), Vladislav Stoyanov (FC Sheriff).

Defenders: Ivan Bandalovski (PFC CSKA Sofia), Stanislav Manolev (PSV Eindhoven), Ivan Ivanov (FC Alania Vladikavkaz), Yordan Miliev (PFC Levski Sofia), Valentin Iliev (FC Steaua Bucureşti), Nikolay Bodurov (PFC Litex Lovech), Petar Zanev (PFC Litex Lovech), Rumen Trifonov (PFC CSKA Sofia).

Midfielders: Stiliyan Petrov (Aston Villa FC), Chavdar Yankov (FC Rostov), Marquinhos (PFC CSKA Sofia), Boris Galchev (PFC CSKA Sofia­), Hristo Yanev (PFC Litex Lovech), Martin Petrov (Bolton Wanderers FC).

Forwards: Spas Delev (PFC CSKA Sofia), Ivan Stoyanov (FC Alania Vladikavkaz), Ivelin Popov (Gaziantepspor), Nikolay Dimitrov (Kasımpaşa SK), Tsvetan Genkov (Wisła Kraków), Dimitar Makriev (PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara).

Having missed Montenegro's first four Group G games with serious injuries, Stevan Jovetić, Nikola Drinčić and Ivan Fatić are back in contention, with coach Zlatko Kranjčar saying: "Drinčić played in a friendly against Uzbekistan in March and showed that he will be a leader in midfield. Jovetić and Fatić haven't played for a long time, but they belong in this squad." There is also room for FK Mogren's uncapped Petar Grbić and Marko Ćetković, with Montenegro level on ten points with England at the top of the section. "We hope that we will continue this amazing run and make another step toward EURO 2012," added Kranjčar.

Goalkeepers: Mladen Božović (Videoton FC), Srdjan Blažić (R. Standard de Liège).

Marko Baša (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Savo Pavićević (Maccabi Tel Aviv FC), Milan Jovanović (PFC Spartak Nalchik), Stefan Savić (FK Partizan), Luka Pejović (Jagiellonia Białystok), Radoslav Batak (FK Mogren).

Elsad Zverotić (FC Luzern), Milorad Peković (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), Mitar Novaković (FC Amkar Perm), Vladimir Božović (FC Rapid Bucureşti), Mladen Kašćelan (Jagiellonia Białystok), Nikola Drinčić (FC Krasnodar), Marko Ćetković (FK Mogren), Petar Grbić (FK Mogren), Ivan Fatić (AC Cesena).

Mirko Vučinić (AS Roma), Radomir Djalović (FC Amkar Perm), Fatos Bećiraj (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Andrija Delibašić (Rayo Vallecano), Stevan Jovetić (ACF Fiorentina).

Players in italics have withdrawn.
*Denotes replacement player.

Last updated: 02/06/11 23.35CET

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