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Capello faces the biggest decision of his England tenure.

England manager Fabio Capello has plenty of question marks to deal with ahead of Friday’s match against Algeria, but one of the most pressing is who should replace Ledley King at the centre of defence for the remainder of the World Cup

The Spurs man will miss the next three weeks, and possibly the rest of the World Cup, with a groin tear.

This, of course, comes less than 10 days after the Italian lost his captain, Rio Ferdinand, who was ruled out for the entirety of the tournament after injuring his knee in training.

And with Robert Green feeling somewhat fragile - and with his selection in question - following his blunder against the United States, picking the right man to partner John Terry could very well be the biggest decision Capello has had to make as England head coach.

So who is the man to take the step up? Goal.com UK weighs up the options...


THE CANDIDATES


Jamie Carragher
Mr Experienced

Age: 32

League
appearances:
37
Yellow cards: 7
Red cards: 1

Caps:
37
Senior debut: 28/04/1999 (vs Hungary, Budapest)

Experience: Played four out of England's five matches at 2006 World Cup

The Liverpool man is the most likely to partner Terry in Cape Town on Friday, but his lack of pace was painfully highlighted against the United States.

Nonetheless, Carragher's experience, for both club and country, is as such that Capello may opt for the Liverpool man should he choose to keep his under-fire goalkeeper between the sticks.


Michael Dawson
The Rookie

Age: 26

League
appearances:
29
Yellow cards: 4
Red cards: 0

Caps:
0
Senior debut: N/A

Experience:
A former England Under-21 captain, the Spurs man collected 13 caps, scoring one goal.




The quickest of the three, the Tottenham defender's call-up to the World Cup squad came off the back of his best season yet, but is this the right time to hand him his first senior cap?

Without doubt the least likely choice that the England head coach will opt for, but throughout his career, Dawson has proven to be a reliable and committed defender, and regularly shines alongside senior team-mates.

Matthew Upson
The Middle Ground
Age: 31

League
appearances:
33
Yellow cards: 3
Red cards:

Caps:
19
Senior Debut: 22/05/2003 (vs South Africa, Durban)

Experience: Started Capello's first game in charge, featured in six consecutive internationals in 2008-09.

Having featured heavily in England's qualifying campaign, the West Ham United stalwart is perhaps the safest bet - with more experience than Dawson, and quicker than Carragher. But having selected happy medium Green last time out, Capello might make a bolder decision this time around.

However, Green's involvement could increase the likelihood of the Italian opting for Upson, as his relationship and understanding with his Hammers team-mate could prove invaluable to England's cause.

YOUR SAY

Think you know which way Capello will go, or simply feel so strongly that there is only one man for the job?

Leave your comments below, and cast your vote, for your pick of the three Lions to partner Terry in England's depleted back-four.
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Poll of the day

Who should partner John Terry in the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King?

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