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Sep, 10, 2012

Sterling, Livermore and Lallana called up

Raheem Sterling, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana have all been added to the England squad for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley.

• Sturridge and Walcott ill
• Jamaica keen on Sterling
• Lampard never considered quitting

England, who won 5-0 in Moldova on Friday, have been hit by a number of injury problems during the international break, with Theo Walcott, suffering with illness, the latest to withdraw from the squad prior to the Ukraine game.

Roy Hodgson has turned to an inexperienced trio to add depth to his squad. Tottenham midfielder Livermore, 22, returns after making a debut appearance in the recent friendly victory over Italy, while 17-year-old Liverpool winger Sterling and 24-year-old Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana get their first call-ups to the senior squad.

"Now that Theo Walcott's had to go home and Daniel Sturridge is having to be monitored - although I think he's going to be okay - it was a good opportunity to invite some young players to come in and be part of the atmosphere," Hodgson said.

"Lallana's a player I've known about and watched when Southampton were in the First Division, because as a club coach he's been on the radar of players to watch. It's good that he's confirmed what we all thought: that he is a talent."

Sterling is perhaps the most surprising selection. The winger has represented England at Under-17 and Under-19 level, but his club manager Brendan Rodgers had counselled against his inclusion at Under-21 level as he believed it would be too soon.

However, it would appear Hodgson has no intention of fielding Sterling this week. "This was an opportunity just to bring him into the group," the England manager said. "I will make it clear that I'm not bringing him in with a view to playing now."

He added: "We still have enough good players to be able to deal with the game, but it's always good when you have the chance to invite these players to come in and see how things are."

Southampton captain Lallana was surprised when manager Nigel Adkins phoned to tell him he'd been called-up.

"I didn't think the gaffer was being serious when he [Adkins] called to tell me this morning,'' Lallana told www.saintsfc.co.uk. "I'm totally shocked to be honest.''

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