Four Manchester United players called into England squad for Sweden friendly

Scott Heavey

Four Manchester United players have been called into the England squad as have three other players for the U-21 side.

England will be the guests next Wednesday when Sweden open their new national stadium in Stockholm. For that friendly, four Manchester United players have been called into the Three Lions squad -- Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, and Danny Welbeck. Roy Hodgson initially planned to use a youthful side for the encounter but because the occasion is a grand one for the Swedes, and because the England manager likely desires to show respect due to the numerous years he spent in the Scandinavian country coaching, he has decided to include some higher profile players such as Rooney and captain Steven Gerrard. Youth is involved, though, as evident by Raheem Sterling, Steven Caulker, Jonjo Shelvey, and Jack Wilshere being amongst those called into the squad. United's Michael Carrick is still expected to be an important player for World Cup qualification but he will not be included for the Sweden trip.

Rooney has been heavily used as of late by United so hopefully Hodgson doesn't include the versatile attacker for more than 45 minutes. If Sir Alex Ferguson wants to use Cleverley this upcoming weekend as a starter versus Aston Villa, or at the following weekend as one at Norwich City, then again, United fans won't want to see the midfielder used more than for 45 minutes. Young is likely to feature versus his old club on Saturday so the same goes for him. Welbeck could possibly use an extended run out as it's possible that he might find it harder to get minutes at United in the next few weeks due to the tremendous form of Rooney, Robin van Persie, and Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) at the moment. Perhaps though, the one thing we should all root for is just for no one to get injured.

England's U-21 side also has a friendly on Tuesday versus Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road. For that encounter, United goalkeepers Ben Amos -- on loan currently to Hull City -- and Sam Johnstone have been called into Stuart Pearce's squad as has midfielder Nick Powell. For these youngsters, the situation is a bit different since it's difficult for each of them to regularly feature for United's first-team. Therefore, if they can get a run out for the England U-21 team, that would likely be beneficial to them.

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