England sweat on City duo

Hope over Richards and Onuoha

Onuoha & Richards: Fitness battle

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England are hopeful that Manchester City duo Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha will both be fit for their Under-21 European clash with Spain on Thursday.

Watch England U21's game with Spain live on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 at 7.30pm on Thursday.

With Michael Mancienne suspended, Stuart Pearce is keeping his fingers crossed that his former City charges will be fit to form his central defensive partnership against Spain.

Onuoha missed England's opening 2-1 victory over Finland with a thigh problem, whilst Richards limped off in Halmstad just moments after he headed home the winner.

Richards is hopeful he will be ready, and told Sky Sports News: "I got a knock.

"I had a few problems with my knees over the season but hopefully I should be okay on Thursday."

Pearce added that they were doing everything they could to get Onuoha through.

"We wrapped him in cotton wool for the Finland game and didn't feel he was fully fit to contribute in the match," Pearce said of Onuoha.

James Milner is another doubt after injuring his thigh, but again confidence is high the Aston Villa star will feature.

"We'll let the conditioning coach, the physios and the doctor work hard with these players," Pearce said.

"Fingers crossed the majority of the slight niggles will not be too bad."