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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

England call up Rodwell and Sturridge

Sturridge has won 15 caps for England Under-21s England boss Fabio Capello has called up midfielder Jack Rodwell and striker Daniel Sturridge for the first time.

Everton's Rodwell, 20, and Chelsea's Sturridge, 22, are in the squad for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden.

Captain John Terry has been selected despite being the subject of police and Football Association investigations over an alleged racist remark.

Wayne Rooney has been left out as he is set to miss the Euro 2012 group stage through suspension.

Former captain Rio Ferdinand has been overlooked, while Manchester City defender Micah Richards and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll are also missing from the squad which drew 2-2 in Montenegro last month.

The omission of striker Carroll, who has scored only two Premier League goals this season, is not a surprise, but Richards has been in fine form for the league leaders.

Richards wrote on Twitter: "Well well well!!!! Disappointed is an understatement!!"

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker keep their places, and there is a recall for Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Capello defends Rooney decision

Agbonlahor was last capped in a 3-0 win against Belarus in 2009.

Manchester United's Ashley Young is injured but Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott and Liverpool's Glen Johnson return.

Capello's side face world and European champions Spain on Saturday before facing Sweden on Tuesday, 15 November.

Sturridge has performed well for Chelsea this season, scoring five goals, following a successful loan spell at Bolton last season, when he scored eight goals in 12 matches.

"He's an interesting player and a player who scores goals," said Capello. "I saw him play right wing, left wing and centre forward. He has improved a lot."

Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck is also included in the squad as Capello begins to plan for Rooney's likely absence for the group matches at Euro 2012.

Rodwell has been considered a potential England player for some time but has only this season been able to put the injury problems that have affected his young career behind him.

Everton have made a poor start to the season but Rodwell has impressed, playing 12 times and scoring twice.

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