MORULENG, June 7 – Wayne Rooney was left on the sidelines as England took on South African club Platinum Stars in their final World Cup warm-up match here on Monday.Head coach Fabio Capello opted to start with Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe in attack for his squad’s first taste of competitive football since they arrived in South Africa last week.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, a surprise inclusion in the Italian’s final squad at the expense of Theo Walcott, was given an opportunity to press his case for a starting role in Saturday’s meeting with the United States by being named on the right of a four-man midfield, made up of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.
Capello is resigned to being without Gareth Barry, his first choice midfield anchor, for the meeting with the Americans and Monday’s line-up sugggests he will ask Gerrard, who has taken over as captain following the injury to Rio Ferdinand, to play in a deeper role against the Americans.
Ledley King, the favourite to take Ferdinand’s place, started alongside John Terry in a back four that also comprised first-choice fullbacks, Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole, while Joe Hart got the nod in goal ahead of Robert Green and David James.
England v Platinum Stars
Joe Hart; Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Ashley Cole; Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steven Gerrard (capt.), Frank Lampard, Joe Cole; Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe.