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Keeping Real's slim title hopes alive

Real Madrid
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Michael Owen blames Wembley pitch for injury

Injury-prone Manchester United striker Michael Owen has put the blame on Wembley's pitch for his injury woes last season, having picked up a hamstring complaint in the Carling Cup final in February.

Owen could play his first competitive match at Wembley again if he is selected to face Chelsea in the Community Shield this weekend, having recovered from the surgery needed to fix his detached hamstring. However, he has attacked the troublesome turf at the stadium and now hopes that a changed surface will stop the injuries occurring.

"I wasn't the only injury to come out of that game," Owen told The Mirror. "There were quite a lot of other injured players. That's the worrying bit. It wasn't just me. If that was the case, you could say it was just a freak accident.

"But the Wembley pitch must have had something to do with it because there were loads of injuries that either came out of that game or the one a few days later with England.

"I was at Wembley about a week ago and they were installing this new thing which means 10% of the turf is now synthetic. So hopefully that will make it better.

"I have a lot of confidence now, because I've been training fine, to play in a game. That's under my belt so now I'll probably forget about it. The hardest thing is to actually get into the team to play on the pitch this Sunday."

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