Football

Out: Sterling, Johnson; In: Keane, Townsend

Injury has denied Raheem Sterling the chance to reproduce his fine Manchester City form in an England shirt.

The 21-year-old has responded remarkably to a tough Euro 2016 in which he called himself "the hated one", flourishing under Pep Guardiola's tutelage.

Sterling has scored five goals in 10 appearances for City this term, but an unspecified injury means the winger will miss interim manager Gareth Southgate's first matches in charge against Malta and Slovenia.

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has been named as his replacement for the World Cup qualifiers, returning to the squad for the first time since the pre-Euro 2016 friendlies against Turkey and Australia.

The former Tottenham and Newcastle player joined the rest of 
the squad when they convened at 
St George's Park yesterday.

Southgate has now handed out six recalls after succeeding Sam Allardyce on a temporary basis, with Townsend joining Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Ryan Bertrand, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Glen Johnson.

The latter, now 32, was last seen in an England shirt in the 2014 World Cup and came in after an injury to Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne.

But Johnson pulled out of the squad with an unspecified injury and Burnley defender Michael Keane has been called up by England for the 
first time.

The call-up is reward for the 23-year-old's fine start to the season with Burnley and follows appearances for England at Under-19, U-20 and U-21 levels.

Southgate knows Keane well from his time at the Under-21s helm and took the Manchester United academy graduate to last year's European Championship in the Czech Republic.

England welcome Malta to Wembley on Sunday morning (Singapore time), before travelling to Slovenia on Oct 11. - PA Sport.

Football