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Deadly Defoe saves Sunderland

Sunderland
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By ESPN Staff

Bolton defender Cahill called up as England cover

Gary Cahill has been called up by England as cover for defensive duo Wes Brown and John Terry who have picked up "minor knocks" in training ahead of the forthcoming friendly against Slovenia on Saturday and vital World Cup qualifier against Croatia on September 9. The 23-year-old is not exactly a new face to Fabio Capello after being called up for the qualifier in Kazakhstan last June though he did not feature.

Rio Ferdinand is already missing with a thigh injury, which makes Terry's presence even more important, while Brown might have been challenging for the second central defensive berth or right-back, where he won the last of his 21 caps in Belarus 11 months ago.

Capello will not want to take any chances with either man and Terry in particular would not be risked against Slovenia if it put his participation against Croatia in doubt, with a victory against Slaven Bilic's men enough seal a place at South Africa 2010.

After having a full turn out in training, a third player has suffered a minor problem, although Paul Robinson's unspecified injury is not thought to be serious either.

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