Roy Hodgson picks Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Butland for opening World Cup qualifiers


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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson has decided to select his two emergent young stars Jack Butland and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his senior England squad, to be announced today, to face Moldova and Ukraine in the two opening 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

However, the England manager has sent Jordan Henderson, who was picked in the Euro 2012 squad, and Jack Rodwell, part of the friendly squad that faced Italy earlier this month, back to the Under-21s.

Hodgson is without Wayne Rooney for the two games but he hopes John Terry will be back to fitness in time for the squad to meet on Monday.

Hodgson was at the Football Association's St George's Park centre near Burton-on-Trent yesterday to coach the Under-17s national team as part of his wider role with the junior teams. He will name the squad at lunchtime, principally so that the announcement is not overshadowed by fall-out from Premier League games at the weekend.

England play Moldova a week tomorrow in Chisnau and then Ukraine at Wembley the following Tuesday. There are still tickets on public sale for the Ukraine game.

Blackpool's Tom Ince has been called up for the Under-21 European Championship qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway. Raheem Sterling of Liverpool is in the Under-19 squad.