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Michael Owen not expecting England World Cup call-up

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Michael Owen's a long shot for the World Cup - Shearer

Manchester United striker Michael Owen has all but given up hope of making England's World Cup squad this summer.

Owen, 30, who has scored 40 goals in 89 games for England, last played for the national side in March 2008.

"It's been a long time since I was in the England squad," Owen told BBC Radio 5 live. "You never give up but it's probably a long shot in racing terms."

England boss Fabio Capello has said his players must be first-team regulars but Owen has not held down a United place.

Owen has started only five league games for his club this season following his July move from Newcastle, scoring two goals in the top flight and seven in all competitions.

The former Liverpool forward's most impressive performance this season came in United's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg in the Champions League, when Owen scored a hat-trick, but he was back on the bench for United's next game - the home defeat by Aston Villa.

Capello flew to South Africa on Sunday for Fifa's World Cup pre-tournament workshop in Sun City after watching in-form Fulham striker Bobby Zamora in the London side's 2-1 win over Birmingham City.

England play Egypt at Wembley on 3 March, with Capello set to announce his squad for that friendly this weekend.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said of Zamora: "I think Capello will have been impressed. I know the fans were chanting his name for England and that was quite right.

606: DEBATE

"Capello knows football very well and is a person I regard as a friend. I've got every faith in his judgement.

"If he believes Bobby can do a job for him he'll pick him. I'm sure that being the good judge of a player that he is, he'll have gone away realising that in Bobby Fulham have a good player."

Capello has to pick an initial 35-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa by 16 May, with a 1 June cut-off date set by Fifa for teams to name their final 23-man squads.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

Hodgson impressed with wonder strikes

As well as deciding whether Zamora is worthy of a call-up for the game against Egypt, Capello has to choose whether to pick Wayne Bridge for that friendly at Wembley.

It would raise the prospect of Manchester City full-back Bridge, a direct replacement for the injured Ashley Cole, playing alongside Chelsea defender John Terry.

Terry is alleged to have had an affair with Bridge's ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel.



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see also
Capello offers Owen England hope
07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Capello opts against Owen recall
08 Aug 09 |  Internationals
World Cup doubt over Ashley Cole
13 Feb 10 |  Chelsea
England's tale of World Cup injury woe
12 Feb 10 |  Football
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
England enjoy kind World Cup draw
04 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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