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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Arsene Wenger's hidden gem

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Sol, James recalled, Taylor gets first call

Veteran duo David James and Sol Campbell have both being handed England recalls by Steve McClaren ahead of next week's friendly with Germany at Wembley. The Portsmouth pair, who have not featured for their country since the 2006 World Cup, were among a massive 28-strong party confirmed by McClaren this afternoon. Uncapped Newcastle youngster Steven Taylor was also selected, as was Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, even though he will not play after fracturing a toe in Toulouse this week. However there was no place for Blackburn's David Bentley, with McClaren confirming his omission was a direct result of his refusal to play for the Under-21s side at this summer's UEFA Under-21s European Championships. McClaren made it clear the current squad would provide the backbone of the men he calls on next month when England tackle Israel and Russia in a Wembley double-header which will prove crucial to the Three Lions hopes of making it to Austria and Switzerland next summer. To that end, the omissions of injured duo Jonathan Woodgate and Gary Neville appear significant in respect of their likely recovery dates. Tottenham trio Michael Dawson, Ledley King and Aaron Lennon are out, as is Manchester United's Wayne Rooney. Given the size of McClaren's squad, Joleon Lescott will be disappointed not to have received a call. For James and Campbell though, there is a reward for an excellent 12 months with Portsmouth and a refusal, even at 37 and 32 respectively, to accept their international days were over. 'Sol is a player with vast experience at international level, who had a very strong season at Portsmouth last year,' observed McClaren. 'I always maintained that I was not closing the door on Sol. I know he won't let England down and I am very pleased to welcome him back into the squad. 'David showed excellent and consistent form for Portsmouth last season, that is why he is back in the squad. 'His attitude and professionalism has been first class throughout this period. 'I also watched him in action this week against Manchester United. He is a top-class goalkeeper and deserves his recall.' England squad to play Germany at Wembley on Wednesday, August 22: Robinson (Tottenham), James (Portsmouth), Carson (Liverpool, on loan at Aston Villa), Richards (Manchester City), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Campbell (Portsmouth), Taylor (Newcastle), Neville (Everton), Shorey (Reading), Beckham (LA Galaxy), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Carrick (Manchester United), Barry (Aston Villa), Downing (Middlesbrough), Dyer (West Ham), Hargreaves (Manchester United), Smith (Newcastle), Owen (Newcastle), Crouch (Liverpool), Bent (Tottenham), Johnson (Everton), Defoe (Tottenham).