King in England's provisional World Cup squad

LONDON (AFP) – Fabio Capello has named Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Scott Parker among his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup finals.

Capello has opted to take a gamble on Tottenham centre-back King even though he struggles with a degenerative knee problem, while Liverpool defender Carragher has been persuaded to come out of international retirement.

There is also a surprise place for West Ham midfielder Parker, who been in fine form for his club this season but had rarely been mentioned as a contender for Capello's squad.

There is no place for Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves despite predictions the injury-hit star would be a shock inclusion.

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry does make the squad even though he is expected to be out of action for up to four weeks with an ankle injury.

Barry's City team-mate Adam Johnson is one of two uncapped players in Capello's squad, the other being Tottenham defender Michael Dawson.

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, who hasn't featured for England since September 2008, makes the squad after suggestions his lack of playing time for the Premier League champions would force Capello to leave him out.

Neither Carragher nor King has played under Capello, although the Tottenham star was called into England's squad for a double header against Slovakia and the Ukraine last year, only to be forced out later on fitness grounds.

However, with doubts over the fitness of first-choice defenders Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, and Wes Brown and Joleon Lescott ruled out through injury, Capello is keen to have a closer look at the pair.

Carragher quit England duty in 2007 after growing unhappy with his lack of playing time under previous England coaches Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren.

But Capello and his assistant Franco Baldini wanted Carragher back in the squad as he can also play at right-back and have managed to tempt him to come out of self-imposed international exile.

Carragher said: "The FA got in touch a few weeks ago and asked if I would have a rethink, due to injury problems. I said I would make myself available.

"The World Cup and Champions League are the highest levels of football. I'm not getting any younger, we have no Champions League football next season and I am keen to work under Fabio Capello."

Capello believes that King proved he can cope with the demands of an international tournament, which will include several games in quick succession, by playing four games in 15 days to help Tottenham qualify for the Champions League.

Only three goalkeepers - David James, Robert Green and Joe Hart - have been named, whilst attempts to talk Wayne Bridge out of making himself unavailable following Terry's alleged affair with his ex-partner have been unsuccessful.

Amongst the players who were mentioned as candidates but did not receive a call were Manchester United right-back Gary Neville, Aston Villa trio Stewart Downing, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young and West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Bobby Zamora's fine contribution to Fulham's run to the Europa League final didn't persuade Capello to call up the striker, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury.

Sunderland's Darren Bent, who has 25 goals this season, has taken the last of Capello's five forward places.

Capello will run the rule over his group at a training camp in Austria and in friendlies against Mexico and Japan before finalising his 23-man squad for South Africa by June 1.

England's provisional 30-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Man City), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Man City)

Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)

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