Soccer: Powell handed England debut

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Charlton defender Chris Powell will make the incredible transformation from Premiership journeyman to England debutant at Villa Park.

Powell has been named in Sven-Goran Eriksson's first match in charge of the national side.

The 31-year-old features at left back in tonight's friendly against Spain in a back four also containing Phil Neville, Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand.

The strike force for the Villa Park friendly had been expected to feature Teddy Sheringham dropping off a lone forward. However the Manchester United man does not make Eriksson's starting line-up.

Instead, the Swede has sprung a surprise by naming Michael Owen alongside Andy Cole.

Three of Cole's Manchester United team-mates will form the midfield - captain David Beckham, Paul Scholes, after his recovery from a stomach bug, and Nicky Butt.

Liverpool midfielder Nick Barmby was the fourth member of the central quartet, probably in a left-sided role.

Eriksson also has the option of playing a midfield trio with Scholes pushed further forward.

In goal David James keeps his place at his home stadium Villa Park, although David Seaman could appear as a substitute.

Eriksson was likely to use up his full allocation of seven substitutes, with a number of those changes expected at half-time.