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Newcastle's Owen set to suffer England axe

Newcastle United striker Michael Owen appears on the outer of England boss Fabio Capello's plans.

Owen, who has scored just one goal in his past nine Premier League games, was a passenger in training on Tuesday as Capello worked on various formations.

Owen has not been dropped by England since Kevin Keegan left him on the bench against France on September 2, 2000, but he was fearing the worst on Tuesday.

Capello, who named Steven Gerrard as captain against the Swiss, has caused anxiety among the squad, but David Bentley and Ashley Young are expected to make their first starts.

Bentley, who caught the eye of Capello's assistant Franco Baldini during several trips to watch him play for Blackburn, is in line to start on the right of a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Young gets his chance on the left and Joe Cole is being considered for a starting role, playing just off Wayne Rooney.

Capello said: "To begin with, I'm not a Messiah. I'm just someone who tries to achieve results through hard work.

"I will try to pass on that winning mentality to the players and to be confident, especially when we play at home. We need to play bravely.

"When we are away, we need to be more confident in our strengths and braver in the way we play. I've always played 4-4-2, but these are not the most important aspects.

"In the Premier League matches I have seen recently, only two or three teams play 4-4-2. Others play with one man up front but, in order to be clear, I have ideas about how my team will play."

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Tribal Football Staff

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