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Capello awards King shock call-up

Ledley King
King has a debilitating problem in his right knee

Tottenham centre-back Ledley King has been handed a shock England call-up.

King's chronic knee problem usually prevents him playing more than one game in a week and also limits his training.

Everton left-back Leighton Baines was another surprise name in coach Fabio Capello's squad, with Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster also drafted in.

Capello's England side face Slovakia on Saturday in a friendly at Wembley, before they play Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier on 1 April.


Capello does not pick players who are not club regulars, but Foster's Carling Cup final display in United's win over Spurs earned him a spot in the squad.

The 28-year-old King also played in that game at Wembley, while the defender's last England appearance was in June 2007.

King suffers from a debilitating problem in his right knee that prevents him from doing any training sessions with his Spurs team-mates during the week.

The only contact he has with them is on the day before a game when King watches training to learn the moves he will be part of on match day.

King's Spurs team-mate Aaron Lennon, who won the last of his nine caps against Andorra two years ago, is included, reflecting his recent fine form for Tottenham.

Lennon will compete with Shaun Wright-Phillips and David Beckham for the position on the right of midfield.

But Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor miss out, neither of whom keep their places following last month's friendly defeat to Spain in Seville.

Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard back for the first time since the qualifying win in Belarus last October, while Rio Ferdinand is fit after missing the Seville reverse with a stomach bug.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United), Ben Foster (Manchester United)
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), David Beckham (AC Milan), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).
Forwards: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

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see also
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Man Utd 0-0 Tottenham (aet)
01 Mar 09 |  League Cup
Capello upbeat after England loss
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham reaches England milestone
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham hails impact of Capello
16 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Man Utd hit by new Foster injury
19 Sep 08 |  Man Utd
England's goalkeeper options
23 Aug 07 |  Internationals

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