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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Ferguson: Owen has World Cup chance

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Michael Owen has a chance of breaking into Fabio Capello's England squad ahead of the World Cup after showing signs of recovering his form at Manchester United.

Owen has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England but Capello remains unconvinced about his value to the side. The Italian has claimed that Owen can still play his way into contention but, having been left out of the heavily depleted squad that travelled to Qatar for a friendly with Brazil last month, it appears he is some way down the pecking order.

However, Owen scored a hat-trick against German champions Wolfsburg in the Champions League on Wednesday and, while he is not first-choice at United, Ferguson believes he could still make it into the squad for South Africa.

"Michael must have a chance," he said in the Mail on Sunday. "You can't dismiss his record. His record for England is outstanding and Fabio has made the same point, but his performance level will judge it. Some critics say he won't have played enough games but I think he has, and you're getting a fresh player also.

"He's never going to be playing every week for me but in a competition like England are going to go into, he'll have to be judged - and I have every confidence that Fabio will judge him in the right way. He was brilliant in midweek and he's given himself a chance. He'll play plenty of games."

There are also doubts over defenders Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown, but Ferguson is confident that they will go if they are available.

"If Rio is fit, he will go and I imagine Wes Brown will go as well," he said.

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