Baines to step in for injured Cole

October 08, 2013
Football - International Football - Bet Now at Bet365

Leighton Baines is poised to start at left-back for England in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Montenegro, with Ashley Cole ruled out with a rib injury.

Chelsea star Cole, who has more than 100 international caps to his name, was forced off during the 3-1 weekend win at Norwich City and has been replaced in Roy Hodgson's squad by Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs.

Cole has yet to be ruled out of the clash with Poland at Wembley on Tuesday evening, but is facing a race against time to be fit.

That leaves Baines as the stand-out choice to face Montenegro at Wembley, with England needing to beat the Balkan outfit and then Poland to ensure automatic qualification for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer.

Anything less than six points could see them forced to go into the play-offs.

England are 1.33 to defeat Montenegro, 1.33 to top Group H and 1.14 to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Meanwhile, captain Steven Gerrard is expecting a few nervy moments in the next seven days, but has confidence that England will get the job done.

He told the Daily Mirror: "I am sure there will be nail-biting situations in the next couple of games when our backs will be against the wall.

"All the players believe, and are very confident, we can get over the line by securing the two wins we need.

"These are the games you dream of from a very young age, to be playing for England with the chance of qualifying for a World Cup in Brazil."

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