Cole keeps his England place

NO DOUBT thoroughly rested after a two-game ban following his ridiculous sending off at Wigan Athletic on March 4, West Ham striker Carlton Cole will be looking to impress England boss Fabio Capello over the next week. The 25-year-old striker certainly ma

NO DOUBT thoroughly rested after a two-game ban following his ridiculous sending off at Wigan Athletic on March 4, West Ham striker Carlton Cole will be looking to impress England boss Fabio Capello over the next week.

The 25-year-old striker certainly made an impression and even had a shot cleared off the line when he came on as a substitute against Spain for his international debut in February.

And the former Chelsea man will be hoping for another chance on Saturday, when England take on Slovakia in a friendly match at Wembley Stadium in preparation for next Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

Cole, who has his highest-ever season tally of 11 goals so far this campaign, has impressed everyone with his close control and ability to hold the ball up, and it has been glaringly obvious just how much the Hammers have missed the striker in the last two matches.


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Cole will vie with Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch for a striking berth, and though he may be an outside bet for a place in the World Cup game on Wednesday, he should play some part on Saturday.

Also in the England ranks are West Ham goalkeeper Rob Green and centre half Matty Upson.

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Green has been in fine form of late and has been preferred to Paul Robinson, Chris Kirkland and Scott Carson for a place in the squad, where he will compete with Ben Foster and current number one David James for a starting spot.

Upson, who missed Saturday's game at Blackburn with a calf strain, has been passed fit and will be hopeful of adding to his 13 international caps.

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