Blackburn's David Bentley and Aston Villa winger Ashley Young are in England's squad to face Israel and Russia in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
David Bentley and Ashley Young have won England calls
Bentley and Young, both 22, have been drafted in after David Beckham and Kieron Dyer were ruled out by injury.
Chelsea star Frank Lampard is also a doubt after suffering a torn thigh.
Blackburn star Bentley was not picked for the friendly against Germany after withdrawing from the European Under-21 championships because of fatigue.
And his international career was shrouded in doubt after his controversial late pull-out from the tournament in Holland.
But with Beckham sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury and Dyer out with a broken leg, McClaren is short of alternatives and Bentley has made an outstanding start to the new campaign.
McClaren said Bentley had now paid the price, saying: "I thought it was the right decision to leave him out last time.
"He accepted that and he paid the consequences but this is a new squad and he is in it and deserves to be in it."
McClaren was upset Beckham is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after his injury, sustained playing for LA Galaxy.
He said: "It is a big blow for us. He is a big player and we are coming up to big games and we need big players for big games.
"He is injured and how well he recovers and how fast he recovers and how he plays from there on we will see."
Bentley and Young are the only uncapped outfield players in McClaren's squad.
Young offers the England coach another option on the flank in absence of Beckham and Dyer, and with Spurs winger Aaron Lennon still not fit.
Striker Wayne Rooney is already ruled out of the games, both at Wembley on 8 and 12 September, with a broken metatarsal in his foot, while fellow forward Peter Crouch is suspended for the Israel game.
At the back Wayne Bridge and Ledley King definitely miss out, Gary Neville still has ankle trouble.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard missed their Champions League qualifier against Toulouse in midweek with a broken toe, and is already a doubt for the game against Derby at Anfield.
If he fails to play on Saturday, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will be reluctant to see him risked by England.
But McLaren said: "I've spoken to Steven and liaised with Liverpool but I'm very confident Steven Gerrard will be available for the next two games."
Michael Owen's progress after lengthy injury problems has also pleased the England coach.
He said: "Over the last few weeks Michael has knuckled down in training and is looking sharp.
"Strikers need to score and it was important to see him score. I said at the time (of the Germany match) he is always ready and speaking to him, he can't wait."
Despite the problems, McClaren is optimistic England can make a major push towards sealing a place in next summer's tournament.
He said: "We are very positive that it is in our hands. We have four homes games in all and we have got to make it count.
"The players know what they have got to do. They are used to that at club level and international level.
"We normally win the big games and we have to do it again."
Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Tottenham), David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (Aston Villa).
Defenders: Micah Richards (Man City), Wes Brown (Man Utd), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Sol Campbell (Portsmouth), Phil Neville (Everton), Nicky Shorey (Reading).
Midfielders: David Bentley (Blackburn), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa) Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Owen Hargreaves (Man Utd).
Forwards: Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Alan Smith (Newcastle), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Andrew Johnson (Everton), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham).