Upson's Japan plan

Matthew Upson is fit and raring to go ahead of England's final 2010 FIFA World Cup warm-up fixture against Japan on Sunday.

The West Ham United defender missed out on appearing in the 3-1 victory over Mexico at Wembley, but hopes to return to Fabio Capello's starting lineup at the UPC-Arena in Graz.

Upson has been working hard at the Three Lions' training camp in Austria this week and could be rewarded with a 20th senior cap against fellow World Cup qualifiers Japan.

Should he impress, the 31-year-old could all-but guarantee his place in Capello's final 23-man squad, which the Italian will name a few hours after Sunday's game.


"It's been really good," he told "The training camp was a good environment to work in, so I've enjoyed it.

"Of course I'm hopeful of being involved. I'm just going to crack on, keep my head down and do it in training every day and try to improve and see where it goes.

"To be honest, maybe towards the end people might get tense, but at the moment everyone is quite relaxed. We had a good week of training and everyone is looking forward to the next game.

"There is nothing to be nervous about. All you can do is go in and give a good account of yourself and it's out of your hands. Getting nervous about it isn't going to help yourself, so I think everyone is pulling in the right direction and whatever will be, will be."

Upson's preparations for the forthcoming tournament have gone smoothly save for an unfortunate and accidental training-ground collision with Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe.

Matthew Upson

Having already suffered a nasty blow to his right eye courtesy of Stoke City's Robert Huth in October, the West Ham captain received a cut to his left eye while heading the ball clear at England's Irdning training camp.

"My eye is good. It was just a nick and it was one of those things. It was just a loose one. I stooped low to head it and it just happened. We had a bit of a laugh about it because it was just a little accidental clash."