Heskey back in England squad
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Birmingham City striker Emile Heskey has earned a recall to the England squad.Birmingham City striker Emile Heskey has earned a recall to the England squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan.
The former Leicester City and Liverpool hit-man, who scored the first goal in Birmingham's 2-0 win over local rivals Aston Villa on Sunday, returns to the squad after pulling out of England's friendly against Ukraine through injury back in August.
The 27-year-old inclusion comes ahead of Manchester United's Alan Smith and Aston Villa's Darius Vassell.
Three Lions boss Sven Goran Eriksson has also handed another chance to Crystal Palace hit-man Andy Johnson and Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing in his 24-man squad.
Five Manchester United players are also included in the squad, with Wes Brown being one of Eriksson's defensive selections for both qualifiers.
The Chelsea midfield duo of Joe Cole and Frank Lampard join captain David Beckham and Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves as the midfield options while Heskey and Johnson are two of five strikers to be picked by Eriksson.
England face home nation rivals Northern Ireland at Old Trafford next Saturday before taking on Azerbaijan at St James' Park the following Wednesday, as they look to extend their one-point lead in European World Cup qualifying Group Six.
Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur), David James (Manchester City), Robert Green (Norwich City); Gary Neville (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Phil Neville (Manchester United), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur); David Beckham (Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jenas (Newcastle United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle United); Michael Owen (Real Madrid), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Andrew Johnson (Crystal Palace), Emile Heskey (Birmingham City)