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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Hargreaves remains England doubt
Owen Hargreaves
Hargreaves has played just three games for Manchester United

England v Israel
Wembley Stadium
Saturday, 8 September
Kick-off: 1700 BST
Live coverage on BBC One, BBC Radio 5live & the BBC Sport website

England's Owen Hargreaves remains a doubt for the Euro 2008 qualifier with Israel at Wembley after only taking part in light training on Friday.

The Manchester United star continues to be troubled by his thigh problem.

Hargreaves, who suffered the injury on Wednesday, joined in with some warm-up work but then left the rest of the squad to do some light training.

There was better news for coach Steve McClaren as Liverpool's Steven Gerrard took a full part in the session.

Gerrard looked to be moving freely during the 15-minute session on Friday at Arsenal's London Colney training ground open to the media despite his broken toe.

606: DEBATE
newfroogle
It remains to be seen whether the Liverpool skipper will require a pain-killing injection to play but he looks more likely to make the game than Hargreaves.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Hargreaves ended the session with some light jogging with England physio Gary Lewin.

Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and Michael Carrick of Manchester United are on standby should either Hargreaves or Gerrard fail to recover sufficiently.

England are already without Frank Lampard and David Beckham.

Hargreaves was recently sidleined with tendonitis and has yet to play two games in a week following his 18m summer switch to Old Trafford from Bayern Munich, but McClaren says the two problems are not related.

Chelsea midfielder Lampard is ruled out with a thigh injury, while Beckham's knee problem has ended any hope of the LA Galaxy star playing any part.

The absence of Hargreaves, who missed the recent friendly against Germany because of a knee injury, would mean McClaren having to seriously reassess his midfield options.

England's missing XI
England, who are three points behind leaders Croatia in Group E, have not ruled out giving Gerrard an injection to enable him to play against Israel, though Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is against giving him a jab.

Despite being a doubt for Saturday's game, Hargreaves has been in confident mood about England's qualification chances.

"It doesn't matter where we are in the table just now," said the 26-year-old Hargreaves.

"Croatia, Russia and Israel have done well so far but we are only halfway through the group, so we will see who is there at the end."

"I don't see any more anxiety around the camp for this game," added the Manchester United midfielder.

"We know what we have to do. Israel will pull everybody behind the ball. They hardly tried to get forward when they were at home, so I don't imagine it will be any different on Saturday.

"I am sure they will be happy with a draw but if we can take our chances early on, and score a goal or two, it could be a comfortable game for us."


England squad for Euro 2008 Group E qualifiers against Israel on 8 September and Russia on 12 September:
Robinson, James, Carson; Richards, Ferdinand, A Cole, P Neville, Brown, Terry, Lescott, Shorey; Bentley, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Hargreaves, Gerrard, J Cole, Carrick, Downing; Smith, Crouch, Defoe, Heskey, Owen, Johnson, Young.


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