Bent earns England call up

Soccer: Training & Press Conference - England MAR 31

Darren Bent has been recalled to the England squad for next Saturday’s friendly with Brazil in Qatar, while Stephen Warnock and Tom Huddlestone are also included.

Sunderland striker bent has been in fine form this season, scoring eight goals for the Black Cats, although he did miss a penalty in Saturday’s defeat at former club Tottenham.

International recognition this term had proved elusive but, with Emile Heskey and Carlton Cole both ruled out of England’s penultimate game before Fabio Capello must name his provisional squad for next summer’s World Cup, Bent has been handed his chance.

Bent has made just one appearance under Capello, the victory over Germany in Berlin 12 months ago.

The most notable inclusions in a squad short of Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Aaron Lennon and David James through injury are Aston Villa defender Warnock and Tottenham midfielder Huddlestone.

Warnock’s international career extends to an eight-minute substitute appearance in Trinidad last year, while Huddlestone is still to make his senior debut.

With regular left-back Cole not in the squad and Wayne Bridge not in the best of form, Warnock could be handed a place in the starting XI.

Alternatively, Capello may place his trust in James Milner, who has made a big impression on the Italian recently and is apparently capable of filling in at full-back having been moved there during the recent win over Belarus at Wembley.

As expected there is no place for Manchester United striker Michael Owen, whose chances of making the World Cup appear to be fading with every squad Capello names.

For the Brazil game, Capello has named 24 players, although that number will reduce by one if Los Angeles Galaxy maintain their interest in the MLS play-offs by beating Chivas USA as David Beckham would be forced to withdraw.

Full squad: Foster (Manchester United), Green (West Ham), Hart (Manchester City); Bridge (Manchester City), Brown (Manchester United), Cahill (Bolton), Johnson (Liverpool), Lescott (Manchester City), Terry (Chelsea), Upson (West Ham), Warnock (Aston Villa); Barry (Manchester City), Beckham* (Los Angeles Galaxy), Carrick (Manchester United), Huddlestone, Jenas (both Tottenham), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Aston Villa), Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Young (Aston Villa); Bent (Sunderland), Crouch, Defoe (both Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United).

* If Los Angeles Galaxy win their MLS Conference semi-final against Chivas USA on Sunday night, David Beckham will be unavailable for selection.

The Author

Kevin Coleman

Founder and co-editor of Back Page Football and current host of our 'Three At The Back' weekly podcast.

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