England's forward Danny Welbeck (L) in action during a team training session at St George's Park in central England, on September 5, 2014.AFP PHOTO/LINDSEY PARNABY
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Missing Daniel Sturridge and stung by recent media criticism, England begin their 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign Monday with a perilous away game against chief Group E rivals Switzerland.While Sturridge's absence with a thigh injury is a blow for England, the Liverpool striker's likely replacement, Arsenal new boy Danny Welbeck, impressed as a second-half substitute against Norway.With back-up goalkeeper Ben Foster and uncapped midfielder Jack Colback having also withdrawn from the squad due to injury, England will have only six outfield players on the bench.Switzerland reached the last 16 at the World Cup, only losing to eventual finalists Argentina after an extra-time goal by Angel di Maria, and are currently ranked ninth in the world – 11 places above England.Monday's game will be Switzerland's first since the World Cup, and the first since former Lazio coach Petkovic succeeded Ottmar Hitzfeld in the dug out.
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