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New boys in England squad

Stuart Pearce has named five uncapped players in his England Under-21 squad to take on Northern Ireland next week.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 15:29 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  World Cup. Click here to bet.

Benik Afobe: Chance to impress for England U21 side

Benik Afobe: Chance to impress for England U21 side

Bolton's on-loan Arsenal striker Benik Afobe is among the new faces as Pearce begins his preparations for next year's European Championship finals.

Derby midfielder Will Hughes and Leicester defender Liam Moore are joined in a 21-man squad by Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Chelsea defender Nat Chalobah - currently on loan at Watford.

"This will be an opportunity for a number of younger players to impress and put themselves in contention for a place next summer," said Pearce, who has recalled Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne and Newcastle winger Sammy Ameobi for the Bloomfield Road friendly.

"There are young players within this group who will be able to go again with the U21s for the 2015 campaign, so every chance to play for England will give them experience they will no doubt call upon in the future."

Victory over the Irish would be a sixth straight success - a run of wins last achieved in 1991.

Pearce said: "Hopefully a solid performance will also provide the team with a springboard as we build for Israel."

England U21 squad: Amos, Johnstone, Steele, Chalobah, Clyne, Lees, Moore, Robinson, Smith, Wisdom, Henderson, Hughes, Lowe, McEachran, Powell, Townsend, Afobe, Ameobi, Ince, Wickham, Zaha.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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