Redknapp and Barmby await senior call

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The Independent Online
Jamie Redknapp and Nick Barmby will miss out on playing Brazil's youngsters this summer, but they could meet the world champions themselves.

The Liverpool midfielder and Tottenham striker have been omitted from a hectic spell for England Under-21s, with two squads in almost simultaneous action at home and abroad.

Ray Harford, the Blackburn Rovers assistant manager, takes charge of an 18-man party to defend England's Toulon Under-21 title in June in a group that includes Brazil, Malaysia and Angola, while Dave Sexton continues his Uefa Championship qualifying campaign against Latvia at Burnley on 7 June.

The omission of Redknapp and Barmby from both fixtures increases their hopes of a call-up to the senior England squad to play Brazil, Sweden and Japan in the Umbro Cup, the host nation's dress rehearsal for next year's European Championship.

Barmby made his debut as a substitute in the 0-0 draw against Uruguay in March when Redknapp was in the squad. The Liverpool player was one of Sexton's side who beat Portugal last June for England's fourth triumph out of the last five annual tournaments in France.

This time England rely on Manchester United's rising young stars, including Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Phillip Neville, who have all played for Alex Ferguson's Premiership runners-up this season.

Middlesbrough's highly-rated Jamie Pollock and the Leicester striker Julian Joachim are also included in the 18-man party for the June tournament. Scotland contest the other group with South Korea, Mexico and France.

Sexton's more experienced party includes Neville's elder brother, Gary, and United's highly-rated Nicky Butt, the Newcastle defender Steve Watson, Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour and Southampton's pounds 1.2m striker, Neil Shipperley.

The Queen's Park Rangers forwards Kevin Gallen and Trevor Sinclair, who scored the only goal in Latvia last month, also feature in the return, along with Ian Pearce, of Blackburn.

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