Beckham not certain for England game

ENGLAND captain David Beckham is not a certainty to play at Portman Road in the friendly against Croatia next month, writes Derek Davis.Sven Goran Eriksson last night revealed he is not sure Beckham, who moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United for an initial £7m last month, will be ready to play.

ENGLAND captain David Beckham is not a certainty to play at Portman Road in the friendly against Croatia next month, writes Derek Davis.

Sven Goran Eriksson last night revealed he is not sure Beckham, who moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United for an initial £7m last month, will be ready to play.

But Eriksson confirmed he is expecting to put out a strong senior side, including former Blues favourite Kieron Dyer.

The Newcastle United midfielder was at Roots Hall on Tuesday night, along with team-mate Titus Bramble, to see Town win 4-2 with Tesfaye Bramble scoring Southend's second.


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Tickets for the friendly on August 20 sold out within two and a half hours last Sunday with many fans wanting to see Beckham's first game back in England.

Eriksson warned: "We haven't made any decisions about David yet. But we'll see how things go for David and we'll make that decision just before we pick the squad.

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"I expect the rest of the senior players to be there."

It is likely that Madrid's first game with their new No. 23 will be during their tour of the Far East at the end of the month, before they return to Spain for the Super Cup final against Real Mallorca, and Sven is happy to wait before making his choice. And he confirmed that he will be taking the time to watch Beckham throughout his first season abroad and will be interested to see where Carlos Queiroz plays him.

Eriksson added: "I don't need to see him every week, but Tord and myself will travel to Madrid to see him.

"It will be very interesting of course to see what position he will play."

England were without Beckham for their last outing against Slovakia in Middlesbrough, and for that match Sven opted for a diamond formation, though a first-half goal for Slovakia forced Sven into reverting back to the more familiar 4-4-2 system, he has not yet discarded the option from his mind.

"I am sure that we will use it in the future sometimes," he said, "but we now know that we can play diamond and normal 4-4-2."

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