Derbyshire missing for Pearce

Blackburn forward suffers groin injury

Derbyshire: Groin injury

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Matt Derbyshire has been forced to pull out of the England Under 21 squad due to injury.

The Blackburn forward has a groin strain and will miss the qualifier against Portugal at Wembley on Friday.

The problem is not thought to be serious and he is likely to be available for Blackburn's next Premier League game at home to Arsenal.

The news will come as a major blow to England Under 21 boss Stuart Pearce, who had already seen three players withdraw on Tuesday.

Manchester City duo Micah Richards and Michael Johnson along with Aston Villa's Craig Gardner pulled out because of injury.

Richard Stearman was called up for a game England will be looking to at least draw to ensure qualification for the play-offs for next summer's European Championship finals.