As we know – Owen has played only two games for Newcastle since returning from his anterior cruciate knee ligament injury (ACL) suffered in the 2-2 draw with Sweden on June 22nd last year.
Newcastle’s Michael Owen
Also included in the squad are Newcastle midfielders Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer as Steve McClaren plans a run out for many of the fringe players on the England international scene.
Kieron Dyer and Scottie Parker
Five players also received first call-ups for the senior international scene: Everton’s Joleon Lescott, Spurs’ Michael Dawson, ,
Also included in the squad are strikers David Nugent of Preston and Alan Smith of Manchester United – who has shown excellent form since returning from injury – so it’s good news for Smith that he has been recalled to the international scene.
Surprisingly Bolton Wanderers skipper Kevin Nolan is also omitted.
Kevin has recently been in the news with rumors that Sam Allardyce may try to tempt him away from Bolton to Newcastle – once he is appointed Newcastle manager – set for Wednesday of next week.
We think if that happens Nolan’s chances of internal recognition will be enhanced.
The Squad is as follows:
Robinson (Tottenham), Foster (Manchester United); P Neville (Everton), Lescott (Everton), Dawson (Tottenham), King (Tottenham), Barry (Aston Villa), Shorey (Reading); Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Jagielka (Sheffield United), Lennon (Tottenham), Dyer (Newcastle), Parker (Newcastle), Jenas (Tottenham), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Blackburn); Owen (Newcastle), Defoe (Tottenham), Smith (Manchester United), Nugent (Preston).
On a cautionary note – let’s hope (and pray) Michael comes out of this game unscathed.