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Frank Lampard will captain England for the first time in tomorrow’s international friendly with Denmark in Copenhagen.

The Chelsea midfielder has been given the armband after Rio Ferdinand was ruled out with a groin injury suffered ahead of Manchester United’s game with Wolves at the weekend. Steven Gerrard would have been favourite to replace Ferdinand but will also miss the game despite playing 90 minutes of Liverpool’s win over Chelsea.

Lampard has suffered major injury problems this season, and has not been involved with England since August, but the England manager, Fabio Capello, believes he will be one of the fittest players on the pitch tomorrow night.

“I spoke with him about injuries that he suffered and I have been monitoring him during the last give games that he played,” Capello said. “He improved a lot. I saw the game they played against Liverpool and he played a really good game. I followed him practically the whole game and I think at this moment he is probably fresher than the other players.”

Meanwhile Lampard described Capello’s decision to hand him the captaincy “one of the proudest moments” of his career. “I’ve been in the squad quite a long time and I feel like one of the older stagers,” the 32-year-old said. “To actually walk out [as captain] is a huge deal. I’ve been in awe of many a player who’s done that.”

Lampard will line up alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield, with the Arsenal youngster being asked to play a more defensive role than he has in the past, but Capello is confident the 19-year-old is ready. “In the last two months he has improved a lot with his confidence and also the confidence of the other players like Cesc Fábregas and [Andrey] Arshavin when he has the ball,” Capello said.

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