WARNOCK MAY MAKE SOUTH AFRICA

Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock could be a surprise inclusion when Fabio Capello names his England World Cup squad later on Tuesday.

Warnock had been rated as extremely doubtful to be on the plane to South Africa after failing to take any part in the two recent warm-up games against Mexico and Japan.

Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock could be a surprise inclusion when Fabio Capello names his England World Cup squad later on Tuesday.

Warnock had been rated as extremely doubtful to be on the plane to South Africa after failing to take any part in the two recent warm-up games against Mexico and Japan.

With only six minutes’ international experience – as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 – Warnock currently has the shortest England career on record and did not seem likely to increase that tally in South Africa given Leighton Baines featured against Mexico and in the friendly against Egypt in March.

STEPHEN WARNOCK INCLUDED IN ENGLAND SQUAD!

ASTON Villa left-back Stephen Warnock is a surprise inclusion in England’s provisional World Cup squad after Fabio Capello announced his initial 30-man party.

Claret and blue striker Emile Heskey and Villa’s man of the moment James Milner have also been called up along with former Birmingham loan keeper Joe Hart.

But there is no place for Villa trio Stewart Downing, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor who had also harboured hopes of representing the Three Lions in South Africa.

ASTON Villa left-back Stephen Warnock is a surprise inclusion in England’s provisional World Cup squad after Fabio Capello announced his initial 30-man party.

Claret and blue striker Emile Heskey and Villa’s man of the moment James Milner have also been called up along with former Birmingham loan keeper Joe Hart.

But there is no place for Villa trio Stewart Downing, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor who had also harboured hopes of representing the Three Lions in South Africa.

Villa boss Martin O’Neill confirmed that Warnock would be fit enough to take his place in the squad despite limping out of Sunday’s last day defeat to Blackburn with an ankle injury.

Capello will cut the squad down to a final 23 after England complete a training camp in Austria and friendlies against Mexico (Wembley) and Japan (Graz) later this month.

WARNOCK PRAISES BRAD FRIEDEL

STEPHEN Warnock has reminded Villa’s final day opponents Blackburn what they are missing by hailing fellow Rovers old-boy Brad Friedel. Warnock and Friedel will be hoping to end the Premier League season with a win when their former club visit Villa Park for the last game on Sunday.

And ahead of the match against Sam Allardyce’s mid-table team, the popular defender has paid a glowing tribute to the evergreen goalkeeper. Warnock reveals that, even at the grand age of 38, Friedel is in peak condition and still strives to improve in training every day.

STEPHEN Warnock has reminded Villa’s final day opponents Blackburn what they are missing by hailing fellow Rovers old-boy Brad Friedel. Warnock and Friedel will be hoping to end the Premier League season with a win when their former club visit Villa Park for the last game on Sunday.

And ahead of the match against Sam Allardyce’s mid-table team, the popular defender has paid a glowing tribute to the evergreen goalkeeper. Warnock reveals that, even at the grand age of 38, Friedel is in peak condition and still strives to improve in training every day.

Friedel is a Premier League ever-present this season and he is set to take his record run of consecutive top-flight games to 228 against Rovers.

Warnock puts the longevity of Villa’s elder statesman down to the professional way Friedel looks after himself and lives his life away from the pitch.

STEPHEN WARNOCK TARGETS CITY WIN

Defender Stephen Warnock has warned Manchester City that away-day specialists Villa have the ammunition to triumph in Saturday’s top-four face-off. Fifth-placed Villa head into this weekend’s do-or-die clash at Eastlands boasting the second-best away record in the Premier League behind Manchester United, after winning their last three games on the road.

Strikers Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew have both recently enjoyed rich veins of form, while midfielders James Milner and Ashley Young have bagged over 20 goals between them.

Defender Stephen Warnock has warned Manchester City that away-day specialists Villa have the ammunition to triumph in Saturday’s top-four face-off. Fifth-placed Villa head into this weekend’s do-or-die clash at Eastlands boasting the second-best away record in the Premier League behind Manchester United, after winning their last three games on the road.

Strikers Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew have both recently enjoyed rich veins of form, while midfielders James Milner and Ashley Young have bagged over 20 goals between them.

And Warnock reckons Villa’s “matchwinners” can outgun sixth-placed City, who trail them by two points having played a game less, and keep Villa’s Champions League alive going into next Sunday’s final round of games. He said: “The game at Eastlands will be vital. I think it will go down to the wire on the very last day and it will be very closely run.

“Hopefully we’ll still be in there fighting. It’s fascinating for the neutrals. We’ve got players who are capable of causing problems. We’ve got loads of match-winners that are capable of winning games for us so we know that we’re a good team. “The pressure is on all of us. It’s what we all want and that we’re all trying to get. City have lost one to United and it’s put us straight back into it, which just shows the run we’ve put together.

WARNOCK: I’M BACK FOR THE DERBY

Villa defender Stephen Warnock today declared himself fit for derby-day combat – and called for calm heads in the white-hot atmosphere which awaits on Sunday.

The left-back had emerged as a doubt for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Birmingham clash after soldiering through Wednesday’s win at Hull with an ankle problem.

But he has handed Martin O’Neill’s top-four hopefuls a major boost by confirming he is primed for battle.

“I’m fine, I took a couple of whacks but nothing out of the ordinary so I’m fit and ready,” said Warnock.

Villa defender Stephen Warnock today declared himself fit for derby-day combat – and called for calm heads in the white-hot atmosphere which awaits on Sunday.

The left-back had emerged as a doubt for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Birmingham clash after soldiering through Wednesday’s win at Hull with an ankle problem.

But he has handed Martin O’Neill’s top-four hopefuls a major boost by confirming he is primed for battle.

“I’m fine, I took a couple of whacks but nothing out of the ordinary so I’m fit and ready,” said Warnock.

“I’ve got a black eye because I got an elbow to the face and I got a kick on the ankle but it’s not a problem at all. It’s just part and parcel of the game and you’ve just got to get on with it.”

WARNOCK READY FOR DERBY MATCH

Villa defender Stephen Warnock today declared himself fit for derby-day combat – and called for calm heads in the white-hot atmosphere which awaits on Sunday.

The left-back had emerged as a doubt for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Birmingham clash after soldiering through Wednesday’s win at Hull with an ankle problem.

But he has handed Martin O’Neill’s top-four hopefuls a major boost by confirming he is primed for battle.

“I’m fine, I took a couple of whacks but nothing out of the ordinary so I’m fit and ready,” said Warnock.

Villa defender Stephen Warnock today declared himself fit for derby-day combat – and called for calm heads in the white-hot atmosphere which awaits on Sunday.

The left-back had emerged as a doubt for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Birmingham clash after soldiering through Wednesday’s win at Hull with an ankle problem.

But he has handed Martin O’Neill’s top-four hopefuls a major boost by confirming he is primed for battle.

“I’m fine, I took a couple of whacks but nothing out of the ordinary so I’m fit and ready,” said Warnock.

“I’ve got a black eye because I got an elbow to the face and I got a kick on the ankle but it’s not a problem at all. It’s just part and parcel of the game and you’ve just got to get on with it.”