Leighton Baines will not start against Japan today, it has been revealed.
The Everton left-back has started the last two pre-World Cup friendlies for his country, but in the final game he will sit on the bench and watch Stephen Warnock stake his claim the for the seat on the plane.
Baines put in a below-par performance against Mexico in mid-week, and will be hoping his Aston Villa rival will do even worse against Japan.
The England manager Fabio Cappello isn’t looking forward to breaking the news to the unlucky players who won’t be on the plane to South Africa though.
He said: “I am really happy because all the players are fit.
“I am not happy that I will have to decide on the 23 players because all of the players have trained really well and I have to tell them.
“On the first of June you will know the 23 players that will go to South Africa but I will phone the players to tell them in the morning.”
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