Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce springs Antonio surprise in his maiden England squad

By Rory Dollard

Sam Allardyce has named uncapped West Ham midfielder Michail Antonio in his first England squad, but there is no place for Everton's Ross Barkley.

Allardyce named 23 players for the World Cup qualifier in Slovakia, with Antonio getting the nod on the same day he scored in a losing effort against Manchester City.

Barkley, who was an unused squad member at Euro 2016, has been dropped despite scoring twice in his first four matches this season.

There are five changes from the squad that failed in France this summer, with Luke Shaw, Phil Jagielka, Danny Drinkwater and Theo Walcott all returning.

The retired James Milner drops out along with Marcus Rashford, named in the Under-21s, and injured pair Jack Wilshere and Ryan Bertrand.

Explaining his decision to bring Antonio aboard, Allardyce said: "He's in outstanding form. This is another lad with a great journey - it's a fantastic journey, from non-league to now an international call-up.

"Hopefully we will have a good few days' preparation and get to know each other on the basis of trying to go and win in Slovakia."

England squad to face Slovakia on Sunday: Forster (Southampton), Hart (Man City), Heaton (Burnley); Cahill (Chelsea), Clyne (Liverpool), Jagielka (Everton), Rose (Tottenham), Shaw (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Walker (Tottenham); Alli (Tottenham), Antonio (West Ham), Dier (Tottenham), Drinkwater (Leicester), Henderson (Liverpool), Lallana (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Sterling (Man City), Walcott (Arsenal); Kane (Tottenham), Sturridge (Liverpool), Vardy (Leicester).

Belfast Telegraph


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