Upson to start Slovenia clash

West Ham centre-back gets nod ahead of Dawson to partner Terry

Upson: Confirmed starter

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Fabio Capello has confirmed that Matthew Upson will start in central defence in England's crucial clash with Slovenia.

The England coach has to make at least one change for his side's final group game on Wednesday as Jamie Carragher is suspended after being shown a yellow card in their opening two group games.

Ledley King started England's World Cup opener against the USA alongside John Terry in defence but had to come off at half-time for Carragher through injury.

Capello will therefore field his third central-defensive partnership in three games and had already seen captain Rio Ferdinand ruled out through injury before the tournament began.


The Italian was faced with a choice between Upson and uncapped Tottenham defender Michael Dawson to come in against Slovenia.

Upson, 31, was Capello's third-choice centre-back throughout qualifying and the West Ham man has won 19 caps.

Dawson, 26, was named in England's provisional squad and despite initially missing out on the final 23-man squad, he was called up after Ferdinand's setback.

England must beat Slovenia to be sure of reaching the second round after drawing 1-1 against the USA and 0-0 against Algeria.