Sturridge, Rodwell earn first England call-ups
Daniel Sturridge and Jack Rodwell have been handed their first England call-ups by Fabio Capello for the international friendlies with Spain and Sweden. The pair have both been elevated from Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad after excelling for Chelsea and Everton respectively this season.
The 22-year-old Sturridge has come into his own at Stamford Bridge after a productive loan spell with Bolton last season. Sturridge has scored five goals for Chelsea this season and started yesterday's win at Blackburn Rovers.
"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."
As expected, John Terry is also named, while Manchester United duo Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney are omitted from a 25-man squad. Ferdinand will be asked to work on his fitness, however, Rooney was told in a private meeting with Capello on Thursday that he will be excused duty and may, with United's permission, attend an eventual UEFA hearing into the three-match ban he picked up for his dismissal in Podgorica.
There is also a return for Aston Villa's in-form Gabriel Agbonlahor, at the expense of Andy Carroll, who has struggled for consistency at Liverpool this season. Reds full-back Glen Johnson returns from injury, forcing Manchester City's Micah Richards out of Capello's squad.
Joleon Lescott is back too, with Ashley Young the fourth member of the squad that faced Montenegro last month to miss out, this time through injury.
As usual, there was no captain named, and it remains open to debate whether Terry will wear the armband against the world champions Spain.
However, Capello has insisted such a move would be for footballing reasons only, and has already suggested the likes of Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Lescott may be presented with the chance to excel against a side that has proved itself the best in the world for the past four years.