England

2006-06-01 10:34

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

ENGLAND

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 11 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002)

World Cup best: Winners (1966)

Fifa world ranking: 10

Odds: 8/1

Coach: Sven-Goran Eriksson

Heralded as the saviour of English football after turning around England's qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup, engineering a sequence of results that included the famous 5-1 victory over Germany in Munich.

But tepid exits at the 2002 finals and Euro 2004, as well as a series of off-field controversies culminating in his confessions to a tabloid reporter posing as a 'fake sheikh' saw the English FA's patience finally snap.

Eriksson will leave the England job after the finals.

Key player: Steven Gerrard

With doubts surrounding the fitness of star striker Wayne Rooney, Liverpool captain Gerrard could well be the inspiration in Germany. Though voted Player of the Year for 2005/06, midfielder Gerrard has yet to consistently reproduce for England the dynamic goalscoring form he shows at Anfield, week-in, week-out.

Has never looked comfortable playing the defensive role in midfield, but could be liberated if Eriksson elects to have a holding player.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Paul Robinson (Tottenham), David James (Manchester City), Scott Carson (Liverpool)

Defenders:

Gary Neville (Manchester Utd), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester Utd), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Wayne Bridge (Chelsea)

Midfielders:

David Beckham (Real Madrid/ESP), Michael Carrick (Tottenham), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich/GER), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)

Forwards:

Michael Owen (Newcastle), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

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