Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling called up by England

Phil Jones or Chris Smalling expected to replace suspended defender Kyle Walker

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling (centre) has been called up by England ahead of the meeting with Poland on  Saturday. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling (centre) has been called up by England ahead of the meeting with Poland on Saturday. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

 

Liverpool wide-man Raheem Sterling has been called into the England squad for Tuesday’s all-important World Cup qualifier with Poland at Wembley.

Manager Roy Hodgson lost two members of his 23-man squad on Friday.

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley was forced to return to his club for treatment on a calf injury sustained in training that is set to keep him on the sidelines for up to three weeks.

Then, during the 4-1 win over Montenegro, full-back Kyle Walker picked up a caution which means he is suspended for the Poland encounter where England must win to book automatic qualification to next summer’s Finals in Brazil.

Either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling is likely to replace Walker.

However, Hodgson evidently felt he was light on bodies and has elected to draft in Sterling, part of Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 side that defeated San Marino on Thursday.

Jamaica-born Sterling became the fifth-youngest player in England history when he started the friendly defeat in Sweden last November.

The 18-year-old has not featured for his country since, although he was part of the squad that defeated Moldova and drew in Ukraine last month.

England head into the final set of fixtures heading Group H by a point.

However, as second-placed Ukraine face a less than daunting away game against San Marino, Hodgson knows victory is essential to avoid the hazardous play-offs.

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