18 Nov 2008

Gerrard and Lampard join England absentees list

6:19 am on 18 November 2008

England's coach Fabio Capello will be without at least six of his first-choice side for tomorrow's football friendly against Germanyafter midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard withdrew from the squad.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were left out after missing their side's Premier League game on Saturday, while Chelsea's Joe Cole and Ashley Cole and Wigan Athletic's Emile Heskey are also unfit.

But captain John Terry is fit enough to travel to Berlin after a scan on his foot injury revealed nothing too serious.

The pull-outs will raise inevitable questions about the timing of a midweek friendly in the middle of a crowded domestic programme.

England are on a four-match winning streak under Capello and are well on the way to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

They have played Germany once since their memorable 5-1 victory in Munich in 2001, with Germany winning 2-1 at Wembley last year.