England play Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier today
England play Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier today

England will take a substantial step towards qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals should they beat Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday.

The Three Lions currently lead Group G on goal difference from Montenegro with 10 points, while Switzerland lie a distant third, having collected only four points from the same number of matches.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's Switzerland stunned World Cup winners Spain in South Africa and were expected to be England's main challengers for qualification.

But a 3-1 defeat by Capello's men back in September and a 1-0 loss away to Montenegro the following month left their campaign in tatters.

The only mark against England's record is the 0-0 home draw with Montenegro in October.


Fabio Capello will look to Darren Bent to lead the line on Saturday in the absence of Wayne Rooney (suspension) and Jermain Defoe (injury).

The 27-year-old, left out of the World Cup squad, is back in favour after his January move to Aston Villa and finished the season as the highest scoring Englishman with 17 goals.

Capello said, "I know him very well, in the box when he sees the ball he scores goals, I hope he will do the same against Switzerland.

"It's important that Bent has improved a lot and he's scoring a lot of goals."

"In my career as a manager, some players were not so good when they were 20, 21, 22 but after they improved."

With Liverpool forward Andy Carroll also unavailable because of injury, Capello only has Bent, Tottenham's Peter Crouch and Bobby Zamora of Fulham as his striking options.

Former captain Rio FerdinandDescription: http://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has returned to the squad and he is expected to join skipper John TerryDescription: http://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif in the heart of the defence with Michael Dawson surprisingly left out of the party.

Jack WilshereDescription: http://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif was controversially left out of the England Under-21 party for the European Championship finals this summer over fears of burn-out, but is expected to take his place in central midfield alongside Scott ParkerDescription: http://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and Frank Lampard.Description: http://static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif

There are some new faces in the Switzerland squad for the clash at Wembley with veteran strikers Alexander Frei and Marco Streller having called time on their international careers.

Hitzfeld has called up 22-year-old Innocent Emeghara and 20-year-old Admir Mehmedi and the young duo could be thrust into action, with Eren Derdiyok another option.

Teenager Granit Xhaka has been tipped to start in midfield and Gokhan Inler is expected to replace Frei as captain.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson, Joe Hart, Rob Green

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young

Strikers: Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Bobby Zamora