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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 16:31 GMT
Bent drafted in for Croatia clash
England and Tottenham striker Darren Bent
Bent has struggled since a 16m summer move to Tottenham
England v Croatia
Wembley, London
Wednesday 21 November
Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One & BBC Radio 5 Live (commentary on BBC Sport website for UK users only); Coverage on BBC Sport website

England coach Steve McClaren has called up striker Darren Bent to his squad for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

Bent has been drafted in after Michael Owen was ruled out with a thigh injury picked up in the friendly 1-0 victory in Austria on Friday.

McClaren's injury concerns have been eased with defensive midfielder Owen Hargreaves being available.

Hargreaves had to pull out of the game against Austria with tendonitis.

England need at least a point from the game against Croatia to secure a berth at next summer's Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.

Owen's absence is a major setback, especially with Wayne Rooney already being ruled out with an ankle injury.

McClaren is also likely to be without captain John Terry with a knee problem and fellow centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who is suspended.

Terry was with the England squad at their base in Hertfordshire on Sunday but was not involved in Monday's training session.

The Chelsea captain will take a place on the England bench on Wednesday in a supporting capacity.

The return of Hargreaves provides McClaren with a selection dilemma in central midfield as vice-captain Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Hargreaves are now competing to start.

Barry was impressive in his outings in the 3-0 wins over Israel, Russia and Estonia when Lampard was injured.

Aston Villa's Barry got the nod ahead of the fit-again Lampard for the loss in Russia when he also put in a solid showing.

But Chelsea's Lampard started against Austria and, while Hargreaves seems to have fallen down the pecking order because of his injuries, his defensive qualities could be crucial for a game England cannot afford to lose.

McClaren may decide to start with three of his central midfielders and play with one striker.

Peter Crouch appears set to lead the line for England but Bent's arrival gives McClaren an extra option with forward Jermain Defoe also competing for a starting place.

Bent's cause is not helped by the fact he has struggled to make an impact at Tottenham since a 16m summer move to White Hart Lane, while Defoe's lack of action for the same club could see him struggle to force a way into McClaren's thinking.

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