Monday, June 21, 2010

Matthew Upson to Start: England vs Slovenia

West Ham United defender Matthew Upson is all set to partner John Terry at the center of England defense on Wednesday when England faces Slovenia in a must-win affair. Coach Fabio Capello has now ensured that Upson would deputize for suspended Jamie Carragher against Slovenia.

Carragher received yellow card in back-to-back matches against USA and Algeria and is unavailable for selection for the Slovenia match. England earlier lost their first choice center back Rio Ferdinand to a horrible injury which was followed by Ledley King’s injury that kept him out of the Algeria match.

Then Carragher paired up with John Terry against Algeria and his performance was pretty much satisfactory. With Carragher missing the Slovenia encounter, Capello was left with two options: Matthew Upson and Michael Dawson.

It was pretty much expected that the Italian would not play the gamble by bringing in uncapped Dawson in a match that would decide if England would go further in the tournament or head into home. So, it was imminent Capello would place Upson in his starting eleven against Slovenia.

After two abject performances against USA and Algeria, England is now left in the 3rd place of point table with only 2 points to their credit. Now, anything less than a victory in their final group match would show the Three Lions the exit door.

Matthew Upson has 19 international caps to his name. However, the West Ham player is far more experienced than his total England caps may suggest. He has been representing England since 2003, but he could never cement his place in the England first eleven, mainly because of the presence of players like Ferdinand and Terry. Upson is currently the captain of West Ham United.

It appears to be a very good opportunity for Matthew Upson to put on a solid performance against Slovenia and impress Capello, and thus, cementing his place in the England’s starting line up.

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