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Saints duo get England calls

08 November 2013, 07:33

London - England manager Roy Hodgson has handed call-ups to uncapped Southampton pair Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana as he unveiled his squad for friendly games against Chile and Germany on Thursday.

Rodriguez and Lallana have played central roles in Southampton's stunning start to the Premier League season, which sees them in sixth place after 10 matches, and they join club-mate Rickie Lambert in the squad.

Lallana, the 25-year-old Southampton captain, received his first call-up in September 2012, but 24-year-old forward Rodriguez had not been called up before.

Hodgson said that Rodriguez, who has scored four goals this season, could prove a useful alternative to Manchester United's Danny Welbeck.

"Danny Welbeck has been injured. We hope and believe he'll be fit to play, but I see in Rodriguez someone who can possibly fill that Welbeck role," the England manager says.

"He's a wide forward rather than a wide midfielder or a winger. He likes to attack people even without the ball and get into the penalty box.

"We think he's played well for Southampton and we think this might be an interesting opportunity for him."

Meanwhile, Liverpool duo Glen Johnson and Jordan Henderson both returned to the squad. Johnson recently returned to action after an ankle injury, while Henderson last played for his country at Euro 2012.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere retained his place, despite having missed his club's 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday due to a longstanding ankle problem.

England begin their World Cup preparations against Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15 before tackling old rivals Germany at the same venue four days later.

Hodgson said that Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart would start at least one of the two games, despite having recently been rested by his club after a string of high-profile mistakes.

"He will start one of two games, yes. But I don't think he'll start both," Hodgson said.

"It's important for me to to look at one of the other goalkeepers, possibly both. But I can say Joe will definitely start one of the games as he's our number one goalkeeper."

Hodgson refused to criticise City manager Manuel Pellegrini for deciding to drop Hart, saying: "Every manager must manage his club in the way he thinks is the best way to manage the club and make the decision regarding players that he must make.

"Manuel Pellegrini at Man City is totally entitled to do the job he wants to do with the club."

England squad for friendlies against Chile and Germany at Wembley Stadium on November 15 and 19, announced by manager Roy Hodgson on Thursday:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic/SCO), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole (both Chelsea), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones, Chris Smalling (both Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley (both Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (capt), Jordan Henderson (both Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez (both Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)



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