Ferdinand was omitted from Capello's squad to face Montenegro last Friday despite featuring in Manchester United's last three games.
It has raised the pre- viously unthinkable prospect of Ferdinand missing out on the finals, with Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and now Phil Jones pushing to start alongside skipper John Terry.
Certainly it is a far cry from the Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren eras, when the coaches seemed far too close to senior stars.
But Capello has re- emphasised his only criteria for selection will be form.
"I select the player, not the name," said Capello. "Rio needs to play. He has not played enough. He only played two games and last week he was on the bench. Sorry, but it's my job. I check all the players before I select them."
It will leave Frank Lampard also sweating, while confirming to Wayne Rooney he faces a fight to claim a starting berth when his ban eventually ends at some point during the group stages.