Woody set to miss out

Last updated : 28 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Rightly or wrongly Sven’s first choice centre-back partnership is Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell, but with the Arsenal man ruled out by injury Woodgate could reasonably have expected to play.

But Southgate has featured in the first choice line-up during practice games and looks certain to play on Saturday, despite the impressive club form of Woodgate and Chelsea’s John Terry.

The only thing that could be said in Sven’s defence is that Woodgate was dreadful against Slovakia and FYR Macedonia in October, although Southgate was so bad against Slovakia he was dropped for the FYR Macedonia game.

Meanwhile Wales manager Mark Hughes is reported to be considering leaving Craig Bellamy out of their clash with Azerbaijan on Saturday because of the striker’s frame of mind following his latest socialising experience.

Rumoured Toon transfer target Robert Earnshaw of Cardiff is the man most likely to step in should Bellamy be omitted.