England leave it late for Liverpool's Gerrard

England manager Steve McClaren will leave it as late as possible before deciding whether to pick Steven Gerrard for Saturday's vital Euro 2008 clash with Israel at Wembley.

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Although Frank Lampard's groin injury is not quite as serious as had been initially reported, the Chelsea man is a definite absentee from the Israel clash, just making it even more important Gerrard is part of McClaren's line-up.

For his part, Gerrard has assured McClaren he will be fit and reaffirmed that belief to fans at England's London Colney training complex this morning.

"We will leave it as late as possible but I am very confident Steven will be with us on Saturday," said McClaren.

"We are assessing it day by day. He wants to play, I want him to play, the team does, the fans do and the whole country does.

"It is a big game and we need big players. Steven Gerrard is one of them."

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