England call Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson to replace Chris Smalling

Indo Asian News Service

London, March 25 (IANS) England coach Gareth Southgate called Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson for Sunday's 2018 football World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, in place of injured Chris Smalling.

Gibson trained on Friday with the England squad at the Tottenham Hotspur sports club in Enfield, north London, reports Efe.

The Middlesbrough defender comes as a replacement for Smalling, who left the training camp because of injury and returned to his club to be treated.

With Phil Jones also absent with an injury and Gary Cahill for sanction, Southgate's options in the centre-back position are limited to John Stones (Manchester City), Michael Keane (Burnley) and Gibson himself.

England, which lost 0-1 to Germany in a friendly on Wednesday in Dortmund, leads Group F in the qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with 10 points.

--IANS

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