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Villa quartet in World Cup shop window at Wigan
By Villa reporter
Monday 15 Mar 2010 20:59:00
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Villa’s England stars get another chance to force their way into the World Cup reckoning when they play their rearranged Premier League game at Wigan on Tuesday evening.

David Beckham’s injury has opened up another place in the 23-man squad, and if Gabby Agbonlahor and James Milner were already in the frame, then Ashley Young and Stewart Downing must now think they have a chance of going to South Africa too.

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They can help their cause a day after Beckham was ruled out by helping Villa succeed where they failed at Stoke, and getting the sort of away win they need to be capable of if they have any hope of finishing fourth. Wigan shocked Villa by beating them at Villa Park on the first day of the season.

Martin O’Neill reflected on Beckham’s loss and said Fabio Capello could do worse than take a closer look at his squad.

'I don't know what the England manager had in mind, whether he was going to take David Beckham or not to the World Cup. The news coming out of the England camp suggests that he was - and therefore it is a blow.

'On the other hand, as you say, if there is an opportunity there, we have one or two players who actually play and can excel in that position. That is down to the England manager.

'I said last week that, if the likes of Ashley and Gabby and players of that ilk, still have designs left on heading to Africa, every single game they play in will be a chance for them to shine.

'I've heard that James Milner is in a great position to go, one of the reasons being he can play well in a number of positions. When you've got a couple of all-purpose players in your squad, that would suit any manager.

'As for the position wide right, there must be three or four candidates that have got a strong chance. My own view is that Ashley can play there very well indeed. Stewart Downing can play there very well indeed. I don't know what the thoughts are (of Capello) but there is still time.'

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