LONDON (AFP) - Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge were on Thursday recalled by England manager Roy Hodgson for the decisive World Cup qualifiers at home to Montenegro and Poland later this month.
Both players missed England's last two games through injury. Rooney has been recalled despite sitting out Manchester United's 1-1 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday with a shin injury.
England face Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on October 11, before tackling Poland at the same venue four days later.
Hodgson's side approach the two games as the leading side in European qualifying Group H and know that a pair of victories will guarantee them a berth at next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Despite the returns of Rooney and in-form Liverpool striker Sturridge, Southampton's Rickie Lambert kept his place from the squad that won 4-0 at home to Moldova and drew 0-0 in Ukraine in September.
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend were also retained, having received their first senior international call-ups for those two games.
There was a recall for United defender Phil Jones, but Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson, Arsenal wingers Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and West Ham United striker Andy Carroll all missed out through injury.
United winger Ashley Young and Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling were not selected.
The full England squad is as follow:
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic/SCO), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City); Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole (both Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones, Chris Smalling (both Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur); Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley (both Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (captain, Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal); Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).