Man Utd striker Owen keen to see Spurs ace Defoe start for England

Manchester United striker Michael Owen would like to see Tottenham's Jermain Defoe start for England tonight.

Manchester United striker Michael Owen would like to see Tottenham's Jermain Defoe start for England tonight.

In his column for the Telegraph, Owen wrote: "Defenders would generally rather play against forwards who drop off into the space behind midfield; it allows the defenders to squeeze up, knowing there is not much chance of trouble in behind. What they fear is those strikers running into the space behind.

"Defoe would give England that threat, causing defenders to drop off a yard or two, which gives Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney space to exploit. So all the talk of Defoe playing a part, even if he starts on the bench, will plant a seed of doubt in Algeria's mind.

"(Franz) Beckenbauer's criticism of England came after Germany had just won 4-0 against Australia. The Germans were feeling buoyant, and rightly so as they played well, albeit against 10 men for an hour. But I did not think England were ultra-direct against the United States."

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