Hammers hopes with Matt

West Ham United fans everywhere will be watching with pride this afternoon as Matthew Upson lines up for England in their vital FIFA World Cup match with Slovenia.

The club captain is a certain starter for the 3pm match in Port Elizabeth, becoming only the third Hammers defender in the club's history after Bobby Moore and Alvin Martin to wear the Three Lions in a finals game. Should England win and top Group C, they would face a last 16 match on Saturday night against the runners-up in Group D featuring Germany, Ghana, Serbia and Australia.

Chairman David Gold said Upson's inclusion was "an honour for Matthew and the club".

He added: "I have known Matthew for many years, playing for Birmingham City and West Ham United. There isn't a more commensurate professional in football. I am confident that Matthew won't let us down this afternoon.

"I am sure we are all proud to have a West Ham player representing England in such an important game. I am thrilled for him."

The Chairman also reiterated his support for goalkeeper Robert Green, who was unfortunate to be dropped after a mistake in the opening Group C match against the United States - when none of the team performed particularly well in a 1-1 draw. "It was sad that he was dropped," he added.

"I have to say that in normal circumstances we should have gone and won the game. Robert's one mistake would have been of no consequence and he would still playing as we speak and playing well. He is a strong person and I know he will bounce back from this disappointment."