Defoe returns to England duty in boost for Hodgson ahead of opening clash with France
08:37 GMT, 9 June 2012
Jermain Defoe is back with the England camp after returning to Poland following the death of his father.
The striker is now expected to start on the bench in the Group D opener against France on Monday.
The news is a boost to boss Roy Hodgson, who is without suspended Wayne Rooney for the first two matches of the tournament.
Back: Jermain Defoe has returned to the England camp in Poland
The Tottenham striker went back home on Thursday morning after hearing the sad news.
However, he was back in the team hotel on Saturday morning and will take part in a closed-doors training session as England prepare for Monday's match in Donetsk.
Defoe's father Jimmy died after his long fight with throat cancer. It remains to be seen whether Defoe will return to the UK again for the funeral.
Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck looks to have won the
race to be England’s centre forward
Signed up: Danny Welbeck looks set to lead the line against France on Monday
Manchester United striker’s instinctive finish in last week’s 1-0
friendly win over Belgium has convinced manager Roy Hodgson to pick him
ahead of Andy Carroll as the replacement for Wayne Rooney, who is
impressed again in training yesterday as Hodgson looked to settle on the
right man to lead the line in front of Ashley Young.
But it was the quality of the deft lob
over Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet which made the biggest impact on
the head coach before a tournament where he knows chances will be at a
premium and clinical finishing is essential.
he took the striker off after less than an hour it was to protect the
ankle injury he collected in the Manchester derby close to the end of
medical staff are happy that the youngster will be capable of 90 minutes
of competitive action now, though, and his running off the ball and
pace on it has won him the vote.
Big boots to fill: Welbeck will take the place of Wayne Rooney, who is suspended
Impressed: Welbeck has got his chance having scored against Belgium
Hodgson’s work at England’s Krakow
training HQ yesterday suggested he will take a cautious approach to the
wide positions, with James Milner and Stewart Downing likely to start.
was pleased with the performance of Arsenal youngster Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain at Wembley but feels the game against France, who
have a 21-game unbeaten record, is more likely to require experience.
means he’ll also plump for the big-match experience of Manchester
City’s Premier League title- winning defender Joleon Lescott alongside
John Terry at the heart of defence ahead of Everton’s Phil Jagielka.
Missing out: Andy Carroll and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will have to settle for a place on the bench in England's first Euro 2012 match against France