England squad: Saido Berahino named to face Slovenia and Scotland as Roy Hodgson recalls Theo Walcott and Stewart Downing

Walcott returns from nine-months out with a knee injury while Downing is included for the first time since 2012

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The Independent Online

Roy Hodgson has recalled Stewart Downing and Michael Carrick to the England squad for the forthcoming games against Slovenia and Scotland, as well as bringing Saido Berahino into the seniors for the first time.

There is a recall for Theo Walcott, after his recent return from cruciate ligament injury, although Hodgson said that the Arsenal man may not find himself used in either of the two games. Arsene Wenger is eager for the player to train with the squad and was happy for him to join.

Downing went to Euro 2012 but has not been picked by Hodgson since. The England manager said that his form for West Ham this season meant that he deserved selection. Carrick was on stand-by for the World Cup finals but never called up. Hodgson said that he needed cover on the defensive midfield positions and that Carrick was the obvious choice.

Hodgson also said that his relationship with Raheem Sterling had not been damaged by the fall-out from the claims that he was too “tired” to play against Estonia. “My personal view was that he was poorly treated. I am disappointed for him,” Hodgson said. “I don’t see why it is a clear mistake to answer questions truthfully about why a player is missing a game.

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Stewart Downing has been rewarded for his impressive form for West Ham

“It is a chapter that is now closed. It lasted a week. I am really more interested in the present and the future. I have great respect for Raheem Sterling and I think he will do wonderful things in the future.”

England squad to face Slovenia and Scotland: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Ben Foster; Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Calum Chambers, Nathanial Clyne, Kieran Gibbs, Phil Jagielka, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Saido Berahino, Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck.

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