Losing two players from his starting XI to injury as England prepare to being the qualifiers for 212's European championships may well wipe that smile off Capello's face.
John Terry joins a mounting causalty list for Fabio Capello as England prepare to first take on Bulgaria at Wembley on Wednesday before travelling to Switzerland. The Chelsea captain had apparently been unable to train properly last week, and featured at centre back in today's match against Stoke City primarily due to the injuries of fellow defenders Branislav Ivanovic and Jeffrey Bruma. Although Terry performed well in the first half, supplying the pass that led to Florent Maldoua's opening goal, his lunging challenge on Rory Delap in the early stages of the second half appeared to exacerbate the problem, leaving the defender limping and in obvious pain for the rest of the match.
Terry's hamstring injury will have a significant affect on the England team, who will be deprived of not only Terry but his Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard. Lampard was also playing in pain against Stoke and requires groin surgery for a hernia. According to manager Carlo Ancelotti, Lampard has been playing with the problem since before he joined the club in 2001, and that only now has it become unmanagable and requiring surgery:
"Frank didn't feel well here so the solution is surgery this week – either on Tuesday or Wednesday – and it will be surgery on his hernia. He can't play for England. He first had a problem with his groin 10 years ago."
Fabio Capello will probably make due note of the timing of Lampard's surgery, which will keep the midfielder out of both England qualifiers but should not affect his Premier League play.
Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, and possible callup David Stockdale have all suffered injuries over this weekend's games and are unlikely to feature. Zamora was forced off in the second half of Fulham's match against Blackpool with a muscle injury. The Fulham-Blackpool game also saw rookie goalkeeper David Stockdale, so far impressive as Mark Scwarzer's deputy, sustain an ankle injury, which will deny him his first England cap. Peter Crouch suffered a suspected broken rib in Tottenham's shock loss to Wigan at home and fellow Spurs striker Defoe may go under the knife for a similar injury to Lampard's. The reoccurence of Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor's hamstring injury during the Europa cup qualifying game on Thursday has further thinned out England's options at striker, leaving Fabio Capello with very little to chose from.
With major losses to the forward depth and injuries to two of his starting XI, Capello has a lot of juggling to do to get England's lineup right against Bulgaria next week. James Milner seems certain to feature in Lampard's place, but potential centre backs Michael Dawson and Phil Jagielka did not exactly cover themselves with glory during the friendly match against Hungary. Arsenal winger Theo Walcott seems sure to feature heavily after a blistering start to the season, but if England are forced to once more rely on an indifferent Wayne Rooney at the top the next two matches may not go exactly to plan.