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Page last updated at 19:04 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 20:04 UK

Bullard called into England squad


Bullard enjoying his England dream

Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been included in the England squad for the first time for the World Cup qualifiers away to Andorra and Croatia.

The 29-year-old gets his chance with Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick all out injured.

Newcastle striker Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate of Spurs miss out, along with Portsmouth's Peter Crouch.

Robert Green and Joleon Lescott return and David Beckham and Theo Walcott are also in Fabio Capello's 23-man party.

Walcott is one of four strikers named by the Italian, along with Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe.

Shearer critical of Owen omission

But Owen was omitted despite Capello watching him from the stands at the Emirates Stadium during Newcastle's defeat by Arsenal on Saturday.

Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson is included as cover for Wes Brown at right-back with Micah Richards, who was originally chosen for the Under-21 side, another injury victim.

Bullard's call-up completes a remarkable recovery from a career-threatening cruciate ligament injury which he suffered almost exactly two years ago.

He was out of the game for 15 months before returning to play a crucial part in Fulham's Premier League survival last season.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

Speaking before the squad was announced, Capello told the FA's website that no-one was guaranteed a starting place, saying: "No-one is untouchable, not the captain, the vice-captain, no-one."

England play Andorra in Barcelona's Olympic Stadium at 1900 BST on Saturday evening and then travel to Zagreb for their second qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday, 10 September at 2000 BST.

England squad to play Andorra and Croatia:
Robinson (Blackburn), James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham); Lescott (Everton), Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Upson (West Ham); Barry (Aston Villa), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Bullard (Fulham), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Tottenham), Jenas (Tottenham); Walcott (Arsenal), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth), Heskey (Wigan).

see also
Hargreaves to miss England games
29 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Gerrard misses England qualifiers
28 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Terry expects England improvement
21 Aug 08 |  Internationals
England 2-2 Czech Rep
18 Aug 08 |  Internationals

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