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Cole ruled out of Montenegro match

The Chelsea defender has been struggling with a rib injury according to his manager.

England and Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - England left back Ashley Cole will miss Friday's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro with a rib injury and will be replaced in the squad by Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs, the FA said on Monday.

Chelsea defender Cole, who was substituted in his side's 3-1 win at Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday, had a scan on the problem which his club manager Jose Mourinho said had been troubling him for some time.

The 32-year-old, who has won 105 international caps, will remain with his club for treatment, the FA said in a statement on its website (www.thefa.com).

England need to beat Montenegro at Wembley and Poland four days later to guarantee World Cup qualification.

Cole started England's last two World Cup Group H qualifiers, a 0-0 draw with Ukraine on September 10 and a 4-0 win over Moldova four days earlier.

Kompany out of Belgium's final World Cup qualifiers

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of the country's final two World Cup qualifiers due to a groin injury sustained at the weekend.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots tweeted on Monday that the Manchester City defender would miss Friday's Group A fixture in Croatia and the visit of Wales four days later.

Wilmots later told a news conference he had sought to call up 18-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj as a replacement.

Januzaj was born in Brussels to Kosovar-Albanian parents and was on the books of Anderlecht before his move to the English champions.

Wilmots said United had told the Belgian FA that Januzaj had not chosen any national side and would not be joining up with the Belgium squad.

"But I think that I have given a clear signal to Januzaj. It's now up to him," Wilmots said. "I wanted to integrate him into the group, without forcing him. I respect his choice and plan to talk to him and his entourage."

Striker Christian Benteke would definitely not be fit for the Croatia clash, but might return for the home game against Wales.

Belgium top Group A with a five-point advantage over second-placed Croatia and a draw in Zagreb would mean they reach their first finals in 12 years.

Even if they lose to Croatia, Belgium would still ensure their ticket to Brazil in 2014 with victory in their last match against Wales.