Fulham’s Matthew Briggs has earned another call-up to the England under-21 squad for the European Championship qualifiers against Iceland and Belgium.
The left-back has become a regular in Stuart Pearce’s squad after impressing during his two previous outings for the Under-21s. He was named in the side for the last qualifier – a 2-1 win in Norway – but had to pull out after injuring himself in the warm-up. Briggs has enjoyed a strong side to the season with Fulham, pushing new signing John Arne Riise all the way, and making 12 appearances for the first team as he establishes himself as a key member of Martin Jol’s squad. Briggs scored his first goal for Fulham in the Europa League qualifier against Crusaders in Belfast.
Pearce, who is hoping to guide England to a fourth successive major championship finals, will be without the on-loan West Ham midfielder Henri Lansbury but offers the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Lewis Dunk, Jacob Butterfield, Tom Carroll and Alex Nimely the chance to win their first caps at this level.
FULL ENGLAND UNDER-21 SQUAD (FOR GAMES AGAINST ICELAND AND BELGIUM) – GOALKEEPERS: Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Cheltenham Town – loan from Birmingham City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough).
DEFENDERS: Nathan Baker (Aston Villa), Ryan Bennett (Peterborough United), Matthew Briggs (Fulham), Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Adam Smith (MK Dons – loan from Tottenham Hotspur).
MIDFIELDERS: Ross Barkley (Everton), acob Butterfield (Barnsley), Tom Carroll (Tottenham Hotspur), Gary Gardner (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Rodwell (Everton).
FORWARDS: Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Alex Nimely (Middlesbrough – loan from Manchester City), Marvin Sordell (Watford), Connor Wickham (Sunderland).
STANDBY: Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Declan Rudd (Norwich City), Jonjo Shelvey (Blackpool – loan from Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Dan Gosling (Newcastle United).