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Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009 20:39 UK

Capello opts against Owen recall

Fabio Capello
Capello's England side play Holland in Amsterdam

England coach Fabio Capello has not recalled striker Michael Owen as the Italian named his squad for Wednesday's friendly against the Netherlands.

Manchester United forward Owen last played for England in the friendly defeat by France nearly 18 months ago.

"He has to play well and score goals," said Capello. "The door is open."

There was also no place for Peter Crouch, with Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe and Carlton Cole the four strikers in the 23-man squad.

The 29-year-old Owen, who has scored 40 goals in 89 games for England, moved to the Premier League champions last month in a surprise transfer after an unproductive spell with Newcastle United.

But he has been a peripheral figure under Capello, last playing in March 2008.

"I think it is a fantastic chance for Owen to play another time with a really important team and in the Champions League," added Capello, referring to Owen's move to United.

"It is another chance and that is really important for the player."

When asked if he believed Owen could rediscover the form of his England heyday, Capello said: "He is young, he is only 29. He is not old, so why not?"

First-choice goalkeeper David James was left out due to a knee injury.

With James absent, United's Ben Foster, West Ham United's Robert Green and Blackburn Rovers' Paul Robinson will compete for the goalkeeper position.


Following seven successive qualifying wins, England are on the cusp of playing in the World Cup next summer in South Africa, while the Dutch, who have also notched up seven victories, are assured of a place in the 2010 finals.

After playing the Netherlands, Capello's England play Slovenia in a friendly on 5 September, before facing Croatia in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on 9 September.

England squad for 12 August friendly against the Netherlands:

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (Manchester United), Robert Green (West Ham United), Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers)
Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Manchester City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Everton), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Forwards: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe(Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

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see also
England 6-0 Andorra
10 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Kazakhstan 0-4 England
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England lose James for qualifiers
18 May 09 |  Portsmouth

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