England Squad Announced for Qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro
Phil Jagielka is also touch and go to be fit for the match against San Marino on March 22 after undergoing surgery on a badly cut ankle, which he suffered in Everton’s Premier League match against Reading.
Jack Rodwell is unlikely to play any part in the next two qualifiers after a reoccurrence of a troublesome hamstring problem away at Aston Villa and Phil Jones may miss out with a badly sprained ankle which has kept him out of the Manchester United side.
England face back-to-back away games which will go a long way to determining whether they will be in a position to justify being the betting favourites to win Group H of the European section of World Cup qualifying.
They face a Friday night match on March 22 away to San Marino before making a trip over to Montenegro to play the group leaders on Tuesday March 26.
England are currently two points behind Montenegro having drawn one more game, they also share the exact same goals for and against record as the current league leaders having scored 12 and conceded just two.
For England to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, they need to win the group or finish as the runners.
Winning the group is much more favourable as it means automatic qualification over finishing second, which means a play-off match and a potentially difficult tie to get to the tournament providing England don’t finish as the worst second place team in the European section of qualifying, which would mean elimination.
It’s extremely important for England to go into their next two qualifiers looking for six points out of six because three out of four qualifying matches next autumn are at home; Moldova, Montenegro and Poland with a trip to Ukraine the only other match.
Goalkeepers: Hart, Foster, Forster.
Defenders: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Dawson, Ferdinand, Johnson, Smalling, Walker.
Midfielders: Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Osman, Parker, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Walcott, Young.
Strikers: Defoe, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.