Posted by Adekunle Salami on
England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has been passed fit to play in Sunday’s second-round tie with Ecuador....
England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has been passed fit to play in Sunday’s second-round tie with Ecuador.
Ferdinand has shrugged off a groin injury and will take his place in a likely 4-1-4-1 formation, with Michael Carrick just in front of the defence.
Owen Hargreaves will replace Jamie Carragher at right-back.
England will wear white shirts for the 4pm (Nigerian time) kick-off, which will be played in 35 degree heat. Ecuador, in yellow and blue shirts, are at full strength.
The South Americans had rested key players against Germany in their last group game.
Agustin Delgado and Carlos Tenorio, who have both scored twice in the World Cup, will start up front.
First-choice right-back Gary Neville, who missed training on Saturday, is ruled out with a calf problem.
Ferdinand was taken off in the first half against Sweden and replaced by Sol Campbell.
But he has responded well to treatment and Eriksson said he had taken a full part in training ahead of the game.
England’s 4-1-4-1 system would mean disappointment for Peter Crouch, who has started two of England’s three games so far with one goal to his name.
But it will be good news for Carrick, the Tottenham midfielder who is likely to make his first appearance in a World Cup.
Eriksson said: “He is a good footballer, a good passer of the ball.
“He reads the game very well. He’s a good long passer, a good short passer. He deserves to be here and if he plays he deserves to play.”
There was worrying news for England with temperatures in Stuttgart potentially climbing to 34C for the game.
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