Mar 27, 2011

Pearce releases five U21s early

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England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has allowed five players to return early to their Premier League clubs.

He has released Sunderland duo Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck, Manchester United's Chris Smalling and Bolton's Fabrice Muamba and Daniel Sturridge. All five featured in the 4-0 win over Denmark earlier this week.

But they will miss the friendly against Iceland at Deepdale on Monday night, as will Manchester City's Micah Richards, who has a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, the Football Association announced that Pearce's team will face Norway in Southampton on 5 June for their final friendly ahead of the European Under-21 Championship in Denmark this summer.

England Under-21s qualified for the tournament after beating Romania 2-1 on aggregate in a two-legged play-off in October 2010.



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