Date: 23rd May 2006 at 5:50pm
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Sven-Goran Eriksson says he has never seen Michael Owen in such red-hot form.

Owen will captain England’s B team against a Belarus side on Thursday, where he will start up front with Peter Crouch.

As we all know, Owen has only played 30 minutes of competitive football since breaking his foot on New Year’s Eve. And the England boss wants the Newcastle striker to work on his partnership with Crouch because they could form England’s strikeforce in the first game of the World Cup finals, against Paraguay.

Eriksson: ‘We will probably play Peter Crouch and Michael Owen up front because Michael needs games.


‘I’m not worried about Michael. From what I saw last week in training, I am very happy with him.


‘In training, he was excellent and when we played he was absolutely on fire. I don’t think I’ve seen Michael Owen in such good shape for many years. He will start the game and it would be good for him if he could play 90 minutes.’