Hodgson may choose young strike duo

Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Saido Berahino will be hoping for a first senior call-up when England manager Roy Hodgson today names his squad to face Slovenia and Scotland.

The 21-year-old has been in fine form for West Brom this season, with his seven-goal haul more than any English player has managed in the Barclays Premier League so far.

Berahino’s case has been further boosted by his impressive performances for the England Under-21s, who he has helped propel into next summer’s European Championship finals in the Czech Republic.

Such form will have piqued the interest of senior boss Hodgson, who may also be tempted to call upon the services of in-form Young Lions team-mate Harry Kane.

Raheem Sterling is one of several England regulars eligible for next summer’s tournament, but before that he will have to deal with increased scrutiny brought by the senior team recognition.

The teenager’s admission of tiredness before the trip to Estonia last month caused ripples and fellow Jamaican-born winger John Barnes believes people should lay off.

“Let’s not put too much expectation and pressure on a young boy’s shoulders,” Barnes told Press Association Sport, speaking at an event with England team sponsor Vauxhall.

“He has been one of the better Liverpool players but he has also been inconsistent because that is a reflection of the team and his youth and inexperience.

“I would be a much quicker and harsher judge of Raheem Sterling in five years’ time when he has had four more years’ experience.

“He has been Liverpool’s best player in an inconsistent season.”

Sterling is an almost certain inclusion in a squad which Manchester United defender Phil Jones will miss through shin splints, while Jack Wilshere will be assessed after missing Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Anderlecht through illness.

Fabian Delph, Kyle Walker, Andy Carroll and Jay Rodriguez are sidelined for the games with Slovenia and Scotland, although Theo Walcott, Glen Johnson and Ross Barkley could be in contention after injury.

Another welcome return would be Daniel Sturridge, who has been absent since early September after a thigh injury suffered on England duty was compounded by a calf problem before his Liverpool comeback.

Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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