Football: Gerrard rested against San Marino, Walcott injured

England manager Roy Hodgson elected to rest captain Steven Gerrard for the World Cup qualifier away to San Marino on Friday.

The Liverpool midfielder is apparently being saved for Tuesday's trip to Podgorica, where England will tackle current Group H leaders Montenegro.

In Gerrard's absence, the captaincy passed to Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.

After a glut of defensive withdrawals, Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling was paired alongside Manchester City's Joleon Lescott at centre-back.

Meanwhile Arsenal confirmed that Theo Walcott had sustained a groin injury that will prevent him from playing in both games as Hodgson selected his club colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in one of the wide midfield berths against San Marino.

An Arsenal statement said: "Theo Walcott will be forced to miss out on England's games against San Marino and Montenegro due to a minor hip/groin injury. The Arsenal forward sustained the problem in training with the national team on Thursday and will fly back on Saturday to be assessed by the club's medical staff."

England: Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley, Joleon Lescott, Chris Smalling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Frank Lampard (capt), Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young