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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Eriksson eyes new blood
Liverpool keeper Chris Kirkland and Sven-Goran Eriksson
Jermain Defoe and Chris Kirkland will figure strongly in England's qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup.

Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson revealed they will be in the squad for England's friendly against Ukraine in August.

The World Cup campaign begins in September and Eriksson said: "Defoe is one I am thinking of bringing in, for sure.

"He is a goalscorer and quick, and I hope Chris Kirkland will come in and be fit at the beginning of the season."

Tottenham striker Defoe was on stand-by to go to Portugal after Darius Vassell, who missed the crucial penalty in Thursday's shoot-out with the host nation, suffered a hamstring injury scare.

Defoe impressed when he replaced Vassell after just 11 minutes of the friendly international with Sweden in Gothenburg in March.

He was also involved in the tournament in Manchester at the beginning of June and came on as a late substitute against Iceland.

Eriksson is keen to involve Kirkland, who is expected, along with Paul Robinson, to be the main challenger to replace David James as the number one long term goalkeeper.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe
Defoe has impressed Sven-Goran Eriksson

Kirkland's chances have been affected by a series of injury setbacks.

He was on the bench for the friendly in Portugal in February but then a hand injury ended his season and hopes of being in the squad this summer.

The majority of the Euro 2004 squad will still be around and in contention for the World Cup in Germany.

But Eriksson may make subtle changes as the likes of James, Sol Campbell, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, will all be in their 30s in 2006.



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