England squad: Jonjo Shelvey's start earns recall from Roy Hodgson

England keep faith with Vardy while Swansea midfielder gets another chance

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson welcomed Jonjo Shelvey back into his England squad tonight as he chose the players he hopes will seal qualification for Euro 2016. England need just three more points in the forthcoming games against San Marino and Switzerland to qualify for their second consecutive tournament under Hodgson.

Shelvey will be the most noteworthy addition to the group. The young midfielder has not been part of an  England squad since 2012, in the first year of Hodgson’s reign, but his impressive displays for Garry Monk’s Swansea City this year has earned him a recall.

Shelvey’s good form dates back to a meeting with Monk, Shelvey’s agent and Shelvey’s father this summer which prompted a change to his discipline and diet. This led to his improved performances, such as his display in the 2-1 victory over Manchester United.

With first-choice England midfielders Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson both absent through injury, there are opportunities for fringe midfielders such as Shelvey, Ross Barkley and Fabian Delph to make their case for inclusion in France next  summer.

There has also been another call-up for Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy, despite his recent well-publicised racist abuse in a casino, after which he apologised to the victim and made a donation to charity. Vardy has started the season well under new manager Claudio Ranieri, scoring twice in the Premier League, and is one of England’s forward options along with Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. Daniel Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, usually selected when fit, are both injured.


Hodgson’s team travel to San Marino to play on Saturday evening – the opponents in Shelvey’s only England appearance so far – before hosting Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night. Switzerland should be England’s main rivals for qualification from Group E but England’s campaign has been very straightforward ever since they won 2-0 in Vienna last September, when Welbeck scored twice.

England have won every subsequent game too and are now six points clear of second-placed Switzerland in Group E. One more win will put them out of reach of third-placed Slovenia, thereby guaranteeing their participation at Euro 2016 given that the top two teams from each qualifying group will go through.

If, as expected, England win in San Marino on Saturday then the Switzerland game at Wembley would be more of a celebration of their qualification. Should England then draw or win that they will confirm first place in their qualification group.

England’s final two qualifiers are against Estonia at home and Lithuania away in October, before a prestigious friendly against France at Wembley in November.

Squad for Euro 2016 qualifiers in San Marino on Saturday and home to Switzerland on 8 September


J Hart, J Butland, T Heaton


N Clyne, L Shaw, K Gibbs,  G Cahill, C Smalling, J Stones, P Jagielka


M Carrick, J Milner, R Barkley,  J Shelvey, R Mason, A Oxlade-Chamberlain, F Delph


R Sterling, W Rooney, H Kane,  J Vardy, T Walcott