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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 03:22 GMT 04:22 UK
Sven's gamble
Friday's front pages
David Beckham's left foot continues to dominate the front and back pages of Saturday's English newspapers.

Most papers deal with England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's reaction to the foot injury suffered by Beckham.

The England captain broke a bone in his foot playing for Manchester United against Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday and could miss the start of the World Cup finals.

The Sun leads the way with a picture exclusive of the England boss touching a picture of Beckham's foot as he prays for a bit of divine inspiration to heal the dodgy bone.

The paper has several pages of people across the country carrying out the same ritual as it uses its "Amen-d" headline.

On its backpage the paper quotes Eriksson as saying that Beckham will go to the World Cup "fit or not".

The Mirror reveals that Sven is also fearful for the fitness of his other stars, especially the Liverpool duo of Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard.

Eriksson reveals his worry that he may never be able to field his strongest side in Japan and South Korea.

The Mirror also reflects on the belief of Leeds United boss David O'Leary that Rio Ferdinand could become skipper of the national side in Beckham's absence.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel
Schmeichel could be a target of Man City boss Kevin Keegan

Away from Beckham's injury the other main football story is the surprise that Peter Schmeichel is being linked with a return to Manchester but with City and not former employers United.

The Daily Express is one of a number of papers who report that Man City boss Kevin Keegan is watching developments at Aston Villa after Graham Taylor told Schmeichel he was no longer wanted by the club.

On FA Cup semi-final weekend Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed tells The Guardian that his club will be bigger and more supported that neighbours, and Sunday's opponents, Chelsea.

It is a crucial weekend for Bath rugby union club as well but for all the wrong reasons.

If they fail to win against Leeds in a relegation dogfight then the club that dominated the early years of professional rugby could be on the brink of falling from the sport's elite.

The Daily Mail reports that Iain Balshaw is the man eyeing up "a saviour's role" for the West Country side as he aims to put a poor season firmly behind him.

The Mail also suggests that Paula Radcliffe is hoping to follow the example of Liz McColgan by winning her first London Marathon on Sunday .

Haile Gebrselassie is equally confident he can succeed in the men's race as he tells The Sun he "is ready to rule the world".

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