Butland the new back-up for England boss Hodgson

Roy Hodgson is not prepared to discard the old guard just yet but there will be two teenagers in his squad for England's opening World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Butland have both impressed the England manager and the 19-year-olds will be in the party Hodgson takes to Moldova next week.

Lion cub: Butland at full stretch against Italy

Lion cub: Butland at full stretch against Italy


Amos (Man Utd), Rudd (Norwich), Steele (Middlesbrough); R Bennett (Norwich), Caulker (Spurs), Clyne (Southampton), Dawson (West Brom), Kelly (Liverpool), Marshall (Leicester) Rose, A Smith (both Spurs); Henderson (Liverpool), Ince (Blackpool), Lansbury (Nottm Forest), Lowe (Blackburn), McEachran (Chelsea), Rodwell (Man City), Shelvey (Liverpool), Zaha (Crystal Palace); Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Sordell (Bolton), Wickham (Sunderland), Waghorn (Leicester).

Butland's selection would seem to suggest the Birmingham goalkeeper is now regarded by Hodgson as Joe Hart's understudy. Butland started the friendly against Italy in Berne this month and  performed with confidence.

It will be no surprise to see Oxlade-Chamberlain in the squad Hodgson names on Thursday. The Arsenal winger made an impact at the European Championships in June and, prior to that, in the pre-tournament friendlies. Clearly he has the quality to become an established international.

For some of the other youngers, however, Euro 2012 has not been the same springboard.

Jordan Henderson went to Poland and Ukraine as back-up to Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker but is back in a strong Under-21 squad, losing out in the senior ranks to a fit-again Frank Lampard and a recalled Michael Carrick.

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has benefited from Hodgson's decision to omit certain players he took to Berne.

Jack Rodwell and  Steven Caulker are back with the junior squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway. Also named are Liverpool defender Martin Kelly and Blackpool forward Thomas Ince, who earns selection for the first time.

Pearce, however, has not called on Liverpool's talented Raheem Sterling, who has been named in the Under-19s.

Stewart Downing's difficulty in securing a place at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers may prove costly for him, even though Hodgson has said a failure to play regular first-team football does not necessarily rule players out for England.

Meanwhile, Darren Bent must be hoping for a return, with Wayne Rooney sidelined by that nasty gash to his leg.

Hodgson has already made it clear John Terry, back training at Chelsea, will be included despite the disciplinary hearing hanging over him.