David Beckham is being tipped for a recall to the England squad.
Beckham could be picked when coach Steve McClaren names his squad for next Friday’s friendly international against Brazil and a Euro qualifier in Estonia five days later.
The 32-year-old Beckham has not played for England since the team lost to Portugal in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Germany on June 1, 2006.
“There has been a lot of speculation about him, but everyone will find out on Saturday morning if he’s in the squad – you can all look forward to that,” McClaren said.
“I go around, keep my eye on everybody and David’s form has been monitored. The door has never been closed.”
McClaren made a point of dropping Beckham when he was appointed England coach after last summer’s finals. Under previous incumbent, Sven Goran Eriksson, Beckham was made skipper and his place in the side was never really questioned.
The midfielder has being performing well for Real Madrid in recent weeks, prompting demands for him to be recalled to the England team.
England lie fourth in Group E with 11 points from six games. Croatia lead with 13 points from five games, followed by Israel with 11 from six and Russia with 11 from five.
Also expected to make an England return is Michael Owen. The 27-year-old Newcastle striker was picked for an official England “B” match against Albania on Friday after missing almost the entire season through injury, and, fitness permitting, he is expected to be drafted into the full squad for the game against Estonia.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for the Estonia game, Owen’s presence would be welcome.
“We need experience in Estonia,” McClaren said. “Playing in the Champions League and cup finals is one thing, but England is a huge step up.”