Football: Raheem Sterling was among a trio of rising stars called up by England manager Roy Hodgson today for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.
England, who started their bid to reach Brazil 2014 with a 5-0 battering of Moldova on Friday, will face a sterner test tomorrow evening against a side they narrowly defeated at Euro 2012.
Injuries to Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge caused a minor disruption to Hodgson’s preparations for the second match of a double header and the national team manager has responded by summoning Liverpool winger Sterling, as well as Southampton captain Adam Lallana and Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore, as cover.
Chelsea defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole are both unavailable for the Group H tie at Wembley due to ankle injuries.
Sterling had been a bright spark in an otherwise poor start to the season for Liverpool, and his skipper for both club and country, Steven Gerrard, has backed him to shine, even if he is unlikely to play against Oleh Blokhin’s side.
He said: “He is a breath of fresh air, especially for the older lads, with the pace and excitement he brings. He is a nightmare to mark for defenders.”
Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka will fill the gap left by Terry at centre-back. Wayne Rooney, who scored the winner against Ukraine when the teams last played, Andy Carroll and Adam Johnson are other notable absentees.