Stuart Pearce has named a 26-man contingent that will play in a Euro 2013 play-off double header against Serbia.
Raheem Sterling and Nick Powell are notable inclusions in Pearce’s squad that are bidding to reach their fourth successive finals tournament.
Sterling has played a number of times for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side this season and Powell has burst on to the scene after an impressive season with Crewe Alexandra and has now joined Manchester United in a £4million deal.
“For Raheem, to have an insight into the senior team, is fantastic,” Pearce told thefa.com. “He’s been in our development squads and has done extremely well for Liverpool, and credit to Brendan [Rodgers] who has given him his chance. We are pleased to have him.”
Pearce also commented on the progress of Powell: “Nick Powell got his move from Crewe, to a massive club at United, and has made his first team bow. He has a really bright future. I’m really looking forward to bringing them into the squad to give us a lift. They couldn’t come in at a more crucial time.”
Jack Rodwell and Henri Lansbury also make a return to the squad following a senior call-up and injury respectively.
Jack Butland also returns after Frazer Forster and John Ruddy were named in the senior squad ahead of him.
Pearce reflected on the two legs against Serbia and said: ““No matter who you face at this stage of the competition, it’s going to be really tough,” he admitted. “There are 14 nations left in qualifying all going for just seven slots, alongside hosts Israel, at the Finals.
“Serbia, like us, were unbeaten on their way to winning their group, so that illustrates just how difficult it is to qualify for this tournament.
“They have some very good players with around seven of them stepping up into the senior set-up during this campaign. We last played them in 2007, winning 2-0, but they have a terrific record in this competition.
“The Serbians have reached the Final or semi-final stage three times in the last ten years and, after not qualifying last time around, they’ll be keen to get to Israel.”
He added: “We are under no illusion how tough these two games will be for us, so we need to be at our very best.
“We’re also hoping the fans can get behind the team as they have in our two recent visits to Carrow Road.
“Both times we have played in front of full stadiums here and the players really feed off the atmosphere that is generated.”
Full squad (from thefa.com)
Ben Amos (Hull City – loan from Manchester United), Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Declan Rudd (Norwich City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Ryan Bennett (Norwich City), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Tom Lees (Leeds United), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Sunderland – loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough – loan from Chelsea), Nick Powell (Manchester United), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool – loan from Aston Villa), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Connor Wickham (Sunderland).