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Beckham dropped from Croatia game

November 21, 2007 10:16 IST

Former captain David Beckham and goalkeeper Paul Robinson have been dropped for England's decisive Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday, British media have reported.

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Beckham had been expected to start a game at Wembley Stadium from which England only need a draw to qualify for next year's finals from Group E, along with the Croatians.

But an unconvincing display in last week's 1-0 friendly win over Austria has prompted coach Steve McClaren to drop him and hand his right midfield role to Shaun Wright-Phillips, British newspapers reported in their early Wednesday editions.

Beckham, whose corner was headed in by Peter Crouch to secure England's victory over the Austrians, could yet add his 99th cap off the bench on Wednesday.

Robinson's confidence has become a subject of debate after a number of errors since he mis-kicked a back pass, which ended up in his net, in England's 2-0 defeat by Croatia in their October 2006 qualifier in Zagreb.

He is now expected to be replaced by the inexperienced Scott Carson, who only made his England debut last week in Vienna.

Crouch will lead the attacking line as a lone striker, supported by a five-man midfield with Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole on the flanks, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the centre and Gareth Barry in the holding role, papers said.

Group opponents Russia can still qualify with Croatia if England lose and they beat Andorra in their match on Wednesday.

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