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Sep 7, 2010

Shock start for Lescott

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has been handed a shock starting berth for England in their Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland on Tuesday night.

• Preview: Switzerland v England
• Capello: Rooney will play
• Johnson out to become stalwart

It is the only change to the side that beat Bulgaria 4-0 at Wembley on Friday, meaning troubled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney starts as expected.

With defender Michael Dawson ruled out with a knee injury it had been expected that Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill, who came on to replace the injured Tottenham player at Wembley, would keep his place.

Instead, manager Fabio Capello has opted for Lescott, who worked well alongside fellow England centre-back Phil Jagielka at Everton prior his big money move to City in 2009.

Lescott also has more experience than Cahill and will earn his 10th cap and his first start since the November friendly defeat to Brazil in Qatar.

Lescott's presence means City had four men in Capello's starting line-up but while it was a big night for him, all eyes will be on Rooney.

The United striker provided three assists and played a major role in England's other goal at Wembley. Since then though, he has been rocked by allegations about his private life which at one stage was suggested would force him to return home to the north west.

However, Rooney assured Capello he was fully focused and willing to play at St Jakob-Park. Once that decision was taken, it was always highly unlikely Capello would make any further changes, with Jermain Defoe leading the line after his hat-trick at Wembley.

England team: Hart, Glen Johnson, Jagielka, Lescott, Ashley Cole, Walcott, Gerrard, Barry, Milner, Defoe, Rooney


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