Barkley and Townsend the surprise names in England squad

Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend have been rewarded for their good early season form.

Barkley has been spoken of on Merseyside as a real talent for some time, and it appears as though the Everton youngster will this season be given the opportunity to prove his talent. The 19-year-old has started both Premier League matches for the Toffees so far, and scored a memorable goal in the opening day 2-2 draw at Norwich City.

The teenage midfielder has been joined in Roy Hodgson’s England squad by another new name, that of Tottenham Hotspur’s Townsend. The 22-year-old has spent much of the past four years on loan at no less than nine different clubs, but the winger is now back at White Hart Lane and looks set to be given a chance to shine under Andre Villas-Boas.

Townsend impressed in the 1-0 win against Swansea City on Sunday, winning the penalty from which Roberto Soldado slotted home the only goal, but it was his performance in the 5-0 UEFA Europa League win away to Dinamo Tbilisi last Thursday which, perhaps a little unfairly, even led to suggestions that Gareth Bale may not be so missed after all.

Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, who shone on his debut against Scotland earlier this month, keeps his place in the squad, but faces competition from Liverpool’s in-form Daniel Sturridge for a starting berth. Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who has been linked with a move to Portuguese giants Benfica, is selected over Stoke City youngster Jack Butland.

England take on Moldova at Wembley next Friday in the first of two World Cup qualifying clashes this month, before travelling to Kiev to face Ukraine four days later. The latter are just one point behind Hodgson’s side in Group H, whilst Macedonia currently top the group with a two-point cushion although they have played a game more.

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

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

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

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


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