No World Cup changes expected from Eriksson

May 15, 2006

The 23 players selected in Sven-Goran Eriksson's provisional World Cup squad are today set to be confirmed as the men to travel to Germany for next month's tournament.

Eriksson will have until the last minute to replace Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney if the 20-year-old fails to recover from the foot injury he sustained at Chelsea last month.

Jermain Defoe and Andrew Johnson, who are both currently on stand-by, could be called upon if Rooney does not prove his fitness, while there is also a doubt about Newcastle striker Michael Owen.

However, the 23 players named a week ago are expected to be those confirmed to FIFA as the squad for Germany.

Steven Gerrard suffered cramp during his heroic FA Cup final performance against West Ham but he is fit, as are his Liverpool team-mates Jamie Carragher and Peter Crouch.

Gerrard scored twice at the Millennium Stadium and also netted in the penalty shoot-out despite barely being able to run at the end of 120 minutes.

'We were struggling to find five people without cramp to take the penalties in the end, the manager asked me if I was okay and I said `yes',' Gerrard said.

Eriksson will hope Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell emerge unscathed from their Champions League final against Barcelona on Wednesday, while Theo Walcott misses the clash in Paris.

Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson, West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker and Charlton full-back Luke Young will remain on stand-by along with Defoe and Johnson as the England squad head to Portugal for training.