Pearce makes keeper decision

Loach and Lewis vying to replace Hart for final against Germany

Last Updated: 28/06/09 9:06pm

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Will Lewis or Loach get the nod?

Will Lewis or Loach get the nod?

Sky Bet

Stuart Pearce says he has decided who will replace the suspended Joe Hart in goal for England's European Under-21 Championship final against Germany.

Hart, who has agreed a season-long loan move to Birmingham City, will miss Monday's showpiece after picking up his second booking of the tournament in the semi-final win over hosts Sweden.

He will be replaced by either Scott Loach or Joe Lewis, with both keepers having played a half each in the 1-1 draw with Germany in the group phase.

Peterborough keeper Lewis has told Sky Sports News that he is ready to fill in for Hart and Pearce will let his players know his decision on Monday morning.

"We normally select the side on the morning of the game and that will apply again tomorrow for the final," said Pearce on Sky Sports News.

"In my mind, yes, I know who is playing in goal, I know my team selection. The players will know that tomorrow and it's a normal routine for us."

Joining Hart on the sidelines due to suspension are strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell, prompting suggestions that Theo Walcott will lead the line.

Walcott is ready to take on that responsibility, but Pearce was keeping his cards close to his chest about whether the Arsenal youngster would start up front.

Big performance

He added: "We'll see tomorrow. Wherever a player is asked to play, they'll play with their best professionalism they possibly can do.

"We'll pick a team we feel is going to win the match, whoever that is, and we will expect a big performance by everybody."

Aside from the three players banned for the final in Malmo, Pearce confirmed he has no other selection concerns for the clash with Germany.

"I think in regard to the preparation for us, it's been fantastic," said Pearce.

"We have 23 fit players going into the game. Obviously, one or two are on suspensions and won't feature in the game, but for any coach to come into a final and have everyone fully fit and, in my eyes, on good form we can't ask for any more."

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