Two massive injury stories have come out in the last hour: Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast has broken his elbow in a friendly with Japan, while England’s Rio Ferdinand sustained a knee injury in training this morning.
Drogba’s absence puts a serious dent in The Elephants’ chances, although Chelsea teammate Salomon Kalou is ready to step into the brink, as is former Portsmouth player Aruna Dindane.
Ferdinand’s injury may provide an opportunity for Jamie Carragher to move from right back to centre, and Capello still has Ledley King or Matthew Upson available. Tottenham Hotspur’s Michael Dawson has been recalled, after being cut from the England squad on Tuesday.
The pair join a growing list of players considered important to their countries’ drive for the Jules Rimet, including Ghana’s Michael Essien and Germany’s Michael Ballack. The fact that Essien, Ballack and Drogba are all teammates has given rise to talk of a Chelsea curse. But it’s more likely to do with the Londoners’ long season, that included a down-to-the-wire Premier League title run, an FA Cup final, as well as a quarter-final exit in the Champions League.