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Lampard hails Chelsea team-mate as perfect replacement for Terry

Gary Cahill is set to start against Ukraine. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Gary Cahill is set to start against Ukraine. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS

Monday, September 10, 2012
8:30 AM

England midfielder Frank Lampard believes Gary Cahill is more than capable of plugging the defensive gap left by injured Chelsea team-mate John Terry in tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier with Ukraine.

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The Blues centre back is likely to step in for his club’s skipper at Wembley after Terry was ruled out with an ankle injury suffered in Friday’s 5-0 away win over Moldova.

The Chelsea captain was assessed by England’s medical staff on Saturday and yesterday before returning to his club after it was decided he would not recover in time to face the Ukrainians.

Lampard said: “John (Terry) will be a big miss, he is very influential, a top player who was fantastic at the Euros when playing under certain pressures.

“As a squad we have to deal with his absence and luckily we have great cover whether Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka comes in.

“Gary has grown completely as a player. I have nothing but massive things to say for Gary.

“To come to Chelsea after the season we had last year, fit in and play the games he did against Barcelona and then the final, he has proven he is a top, top centre-half in world football.

“Internationally he can go on and play for a long time.”

If Cahill is chosen, it would be his first appearance at Wembley since he suffered a broken jaw against Belgium in early June which ruled him out of Euro 2012.

Terry became the second player to withdraw from the squad in the space of 24 hours.

His Chelsea team-mate, Ashley Cole, had not recovered sufficiently from the ankle setback which caused him to be unavailable against Moldova.

It leaves Cole on 98 caps and he could now reach the century mark next month when England visit Poland and entertain San Marino in two more qualifiers.

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