Tottenham's Dawson and King ready to step up for England

TOTTENHAM'S Michael Dawson is set for a shock World Cup reprieve as he prepares to fly out to South Africa as a replacement for the injured Rio Ferdinand. Dawson, who has never made a single senior appearance for England...

By Ben Pearce

TOTTENHAM'S Michael Dawson is set for a shock World Cup reprieve as he prepares to fly out to South Africa as a replacement for the injured Rio Ferdinand.

Dawson, who has never made a single senior appearance for England, was one of the seven players who were axed from Fabio Capello's 23-man squad on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old was an unused substitute in both of England's recent pre-tournament friendlies against Mexico and Japan, and admitted he was "devastated" to be dropped.


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However, just three days later, the Spurs centre-back is ready to re-join the squad as England's fourth-choice centre-back.

National captain Ferdinand went down in training earlier today with a knee injury and, having had a scan at hospital, looks unlikely to play any part in the World Cup.

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That could have major repercussions for another Spurs defender, Ledley King, who could now replace Ferdinand in England's starting XI.

King, who has only recently returned to the England set-up due to his own knee problems, will now fight Matthew Upson and Jamie Carragher for the vacant spot alongside Terry.

The Tottenham captain played the full 90 minutes against Mexico at Wembley, with Carragher as a partner in the second half, but Upson - like Dawson - remained on the bench throughout both friendlies.

Spurs will now have six England players at the World Cup - their highest ever representation in the national team. The Lilywhites had five players in the Three Lions squad in 2006 and 1950.

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