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England’s plans for their forthcoming EURO 2004 qualifiers against Slovakia and Macedonia have been hit by the news that centre-back Sol Campbell is doubtful for both matches with a stomach bug.

‘Sol Campbell is ill,,’ confirmed Enngland coach Sven Goran Eriksson. ‘He has a stomach problem and won’t arrive today – hopefully he will tomorrow or the day after. The doctor is seeing him this morning.’

The loss of Campbell would be a huge blow to Eriksson, who has already lostCampbell’s defensive partner at the World Cup finals, Rio Ferdinand, through injury.

Meanwhile, Eriksson revealed that disappointing recent performances by Lee Bowyer and Joe Cole’s is the reason both players were omitted from the squad to face Slovakia and Macedonia.

Eriksson cited Bowyer’s form when was asked why the Leeds United midfielder had been left out of the squad after playing well in last month’s friendly match with Portugal.

“That is the only reason that he has been left out. I am sure he will play better in the future and he might be picked next time.

“I think Lee Bowyer’s a good man and a good boy. The only reason is that I think he can play better than he is doing at the moment, so I have chosen other players for that reason.

“The same goes for Joe Cole. He’s a much better footballer than he’s showing at the moment. When I go to see players I have to judge them and I can only do that on what I see. When they are playing better the door is always open for them.”

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