England U21 coach Stuart Pearce has announced a 31-man squad for the upcoming friendly with Denmark.
Pearce left out Arsenal star Jack Wilshere and Liverpool recruit Andy Carroll for the March 24 match in Viborg with those two almost certainties for Fabio Capello’s senior squad for the Euro2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff.
The most surprising selection in Pearce’s call-up was that of 23-year old Celtic striker Gary Hooper who qualifies because he was under 21 when the England U21 team began their qualifying campaign for this summer’s Euro Championships in Denmark.
Apart from that, Pearce’s squad remains fairly similar to the February 8 line-up which lost to Italy.
"There are one or two fresh faces in there such as Gary Hooper and Mark Davies but in the main the majority of the players are well known to us and have been involved in the qualifying for the tournament," Pearce said.
"Now's the time for all of the players to impress in the minds of the coaching staff that they want to be the ones stepping on to the plane. At the end of this meet-up I need to be able to make some final decisions about my squad - and I will.
"Both of the teams we'll face will be in the Championships in June so there can be no better warm-up opportunity for us and there will be no underestimating anyone on our part, and I expect the opposition will be thinking much the same about us."
England U21 squad for Denmark friendly
Baker (Aston Villa)
Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough)
Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea)
Steven Caulker (Tottenham)
Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)
Mee (Manchester City)
Kyle Naughton (Tottenham)
Micah Richards (Manchester City)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
James Tomkins (West Ham)
Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa)
Jack Cork (Chelsea)
Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
Mark Davies (Bolton)
Jordan Henderson (Sunderland)
Henri Lansbury (Arsenal)
Josh McEachran (Chelsea)
Fabrice Muamba (Bolton)
Jack Rodwell (Everton)
Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Scott Sinclair (Swansea)