Warnock backed to solve crisis

Villa ace considered a worthy replacement for Cole and Bridge

Warnock: Impressive season

Peter Crouch has told skysports.com that Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock is the best man to solve England's selection nightmare at left-back ahead of the World Cup.

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Three Lions boss Fabio Capello has a serious problem regarding his defence ahead of the summer as Ashley Cole is in a race against time to recover from a broken ankle and Wayne Bridge has made himself unavailable in the wake of the John Terry saga.

Warnock and Everton's Leighton Baines are almost certain to be selected for Wednesday's friendly against Egypt, with the squad due to be announced on Saturday evening, but the latter is understood to be in pole position to start.

However, having played with Warnock, who is preparing for Sunday's Carling Cup final, during their respective careers at Liverpool, Crouch believes his former club-mate would not disappoint in midweek or at the World Cup.

"Stephen is a fantastic player," the Tottenham and England striker told skysports.com. "I think he is a great left-back and if he gets his chance I am certain he won't let anyone down.

"Obviously, with Ashley being out and if Bridgey is not involved, Stephen Warnock will be a fantastic replacement.

Attributes

"For me he has got everything that a left-back should have. He can get up and support play and has a fantastic left foot.

"He can also defend and he does not shirk a tackle. He has a lot of attributes that a left-back should have."

Crouch added: "Credit to him, he is a wholehearted defender as well as a good football player."

Warnock has impressed this season after a moving from Blackburn to Villa in a £7million move last August and that form earned him a place in Capello's squad for the meeting with Brazil in November, although he was an unused substitute.

The 28-year-old has also featured in previous squads, but he has only one cap to his name after replacing Bridge in a 2008 friendly with Trinidad & Tobago.

Warnock to start at left back against USA 6/1