England v Switzerland: Capello backs Bent to shine

Darren Bent
Bent signed for Aston Villa in January for £18m

Boss Fabio Capello said Darren Bent will be a key figure for England in the Euro 2012 tie against Switzerland.

The 27-year-old striker, left out of the World Cup squad, is set to lead the line on Saturday, with Wayne Rooney suspended and Jermain Defoe injured.

England coach Capello said: "I know him very well, in the box when he sees the ball he scores goals, I hope he will do the same against Switzerland.

"It's important that Bent has improved a lot and he's scoring a lot of goals."

Capello continued: "In my career as a manager, some players were not so good when they were 20, 21, 22 but after they improved.

"Sometimes it's important which team you play in, and the relationship with the manager, the private life. It's impossible to know the future."

With Liverpool forward Andy Carroll also unavailable because of injury, Capello only has Bent, Tottenham's Peter Crouch and Bobby Zamora of Fulham as his striking options.

There were injury fears over Crouch [back] and Zamora [hip] but both trained with the rest of the 24-man squad on Friday.

On Wednesday, Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick joined the injury list after he suffered a knock during his club's Champions League final defeat by Barcelona at Wembley.

Carrick reported to the England squad with what was believed to be a hip injury but was unable to train and was sent back to United.

England are top of Group G, with 10 points from four games, while Switzerland lie a distant third, having gained only four points from the same number of matches.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson, Joe Hart, Rob Green

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young

Strikers: Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Bobby Zamora