Emile Heskey has earned an England recall from Fabio Capello but there is no place for Peter Crouch in the squad to face the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Capello was at Upton Park to watch Heskey in action for Wigan this afternoon and once West Ham's matchwinner Dean Ashton - whose injury curse has struck again - was ruled out, it was the former Liverpool man who got the nod ahead of Crouch, who left Merseyside for Portsmouth in an £11million deal this summer. Aston Villa's Ashley Young was the other surprise absentee, while there was no place either for Tottenham forward Darren Bent.
Capello has named 23 players in total, including both Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, who have been been struggling with injury until this week. However, with 13 in action tomorrow, there has to be a chance the Italian will suffer some withdrawals. Paul Robinson will be delighted his move to Blackburn has seen him return to the international fold, with Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate also included as Capello looks at his defensive options. As expected, David Beckham will make the trip from Los Angeles before flying on to Beijing to take part in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games as London takes centre stage as the next host. Beckham is one of four captains Capello has used in his four friendlies in charge but the final choice of the man who will lead England into their World Cup qualifiers next month seems set to be between John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. The decision is due to be announced on Tuesday, with Ferdinand just favoured to edge it.England squad for friendly against Czech Republic at Wembley on Wednesday, August 20: James (Portsmouth), Robinson (Blackburn), Hart (Manchester City), Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Woodgate (Tottenham), Upson (West Ham), Walcott (Arsenal), Barry (Aston Villa), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Gerrard (Liverpool), Carrick (Manchester United), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth), Heskey (Wigan).