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Tuesday, 2 October, 2001, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Jeffers blow for Under-21s
Francis Jeffers has become the leading striker for the England Under-21s
Francis Jeffers scored three against Albania
Francis Jeffers has dealt the England Under-21 squad a major blow by withdrawing because of injury ahead of Friday's clash with Greece at Ewood Park.

The Arsenal striker has scored four goals in his last two games for the Under-21s, including a hat-trick last time out against Albania.

But an ankle injury picked up during Arsenal's 2-0 win at Derby on Saturday means Jeffers will not be fit for the decisive European Championship qualifier.

Fulham midfielder Sean Davies is another casualty with a foot problem sustained in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

Owen Hargreaves, Titus Bramble and Seth Johnson have already withdrawn from the squad, with the latter replaced by Charlton defender Paul Konchesky.

Charlton defender Paul Konchesky
Paul Konchesky has come in for Seth Johnson
Friday's match is on course to be a sell-out, with 25,000 tickets already sold as public interest peaks in the England squad at all levels.

Under-21 boss David Platt David Platt says only victory over group leaders Greece will ensure England's place in the play-offs.

England will qualify as group winners if they beat Greece, but with Germany a point behind in third, any dropped points could see Platt's side fail to reach the finals.

The former Nottingham Forest manager expects Germany to beat Finland in their final group match - meaning England must win.

He said: "I know there is the chance that Germany could slip up - but you just can't see that happening.

"When I took over I said that if we won all three games then we would qualify. We've managed to win the first two and it was a tremendous win in Germany.

"It would be a great shame now if we didn't take advantage of all the hard work and getting into a position where things are in our own hands."

See also:

01 Oct 01 |  Football
Duo to miss decider
29 Sep 01 |  World Cup 2002
Hargreaves, Carrick return
27 Sep 01 |  West Ham Utd
Cole to miss Greek test
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