Cole in line for 100 caps
Ashley Cole is in line to become the seventh player to win 100 England caps after being named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for next week’s friendly with Brazil at Wembley.
Cole was part of a strong 24-man squad, with youngsters Raheem Sterling, Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Zaha all excluded as expected.
The most notable exclusion was Tottenham‘s Scott Parker, now fit again after returning from Euro 2012 with an Achilles injury.
Frank Lampard has been picked, along with Jack Wilshere, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Leon Osman and skipper Steven Gerrard, who reached his century of caps in Sweden in November.
Hodgson has taken the unusual step of naming only two goalkeepers – Joe Hart and sought after Birmingham youngster Jack Butland – whilst Chris Smalling is called up for the first time during Hodgson’s tenure after recovering from injury.
Jermain Defoe has also been included despite his present pelvic problem, joining Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, plus Liverpool new-boy Daniel Sturridge, in attack.
England squad for the friendly against Brazil on Wednesday, February 6:
Keepers: Butland (Birmingham) Hart (Manchester City)
Defenders: Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), G Johnson (Liverpool), Lescott (Manchester City), Smalling (Manchester United), Walker (Tottenham)
Midfielders: Carrick (Manchester United), Cleverley (Manchester United), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Lennon (Tottenham), Milner (Manchester City), Osman (Everton), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal)
Forwards: Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Sturridge (Liverpool), Welbeck (Manchester United)