England's defense with a spate of injuries, off pitch scandals, and questionable skills wears a fragile and unsettled look.
Rio Ferdinand has aggravated a back injury that will keep him out of Saturday's Carling Cup final against Aston Villa as well as the upcoming Egypt friendly. Captain Crocked's armband will be worn by Steven Gerrard.
Ashley Cole is under a moral cloud and little recuperative time before the World Cup. The Terry equation with Wayne Bridge could prove problematic. Joleon Lescott is relatively untested.
The right back spot too looks unsettled. Glen Johnson and Adam Johnson love the cavalry charge but demonstrate defensive issues with their reluctance to track back and tackle. Wes Brown is solid if unspectacular but his injury track record is not too inspiring.
The same can be said of Matthew Upson filling in at center back with a long history of knee ailments. Gary Cahill is out with a blood clot that needs extended treatment.
There is no consensus on the goalkeeper. Robert Green? Joe Hart? Ben Foster? None of them have had a stand out season.
Fabio Capello's juggling skills will be severely tested.