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Five Aside

Crouch: Reunion could earn England call

Peter Crouch believes his eagerly awaited Stoke City partnership with Michael Owen could lead to an England re-call for both players.

• Pulis: Owen not an impact sub
• Owen move gets green light

Crouch, overlooked for Euro 2012, still harbours ambitions to force his way into Roy Hodgson's World Cup plans. And the arrival of Owen at the Britannia Stadium will enable him to re-unite with his former international partner, which could revive their England chances.

Owen, 32, has a point to prove after being released by Manchester United at the end of last season and Crouch feels he still has plenty to offer.

"If Michael stays fit he will score," Crouch said in the Sun Sunday. "If he's playing regularly for Stoke and scoring in the Premier League, I don't see why he can't force his way into the England set-up.

"Stoke's profile is about to be raised just by the fact Michael is here and the gaffer has made a lot of shrewd summer signings.

"The future looks bright and, if we're scoring regularly in the Premier League for a successful team, why shouldn't we be considered again?"

Crouch and Owen scored 16 goals between them in 16 games together for England, starting with a 3-2 win over Colombia in March 2005.

"I made my England debut in that match, up front with Michael, and he scored a hat-trick. I set up a couple and we just clicked straight away," he said.

"The fact we're so different is definitely a strength of ours - it's the old little and large act. Whenever I've played with that sort of striker, Jermain Defoe, Kevin Phillips or Michael it has always gone well."

Crouch lost out to Andy Carroll for Euro 2012 and has been overlooked for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

"To be honest I've taken my eye off England now a little bit. I'm just concentrating on doing well for Stoke, the rest takes care of itself," he said.

"I'm playing well and I've scored in my last couple of games. I play most weeks and I'm really enjoying my football again. Michael coming here is another step forward.

"I'll just continue to enjoy it. If the England call comes, great. If not, I've got Stoke to concern myself with."


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