Five Manchestester United players named into England squad for Brazil friendly

Scott Heavey

Eight Manchester United players have been called into England duty for fixtures next week.

Roy Hodgson has named his England squad for next week's friendly against Brazil and five Manchester United players have been included -- Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney, and Danny Welbeck. The grand friendly at Wembley against the world's most accomplished national team on February 6 is part of many events this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the FA. Here's the full England squad for the match:

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Leon Osman (Everton), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Jermaine Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

Apparently Rio Ferdinand hasn't been chosen again for 'footballing reasons'. That, though, is certainly beneficial to United, even if it hugely disappointing for the former England captain. If Hodgson is pragmatic, which he generally is, he'd build his midfield around Carrick since putting a Gerrard, Cleverley, or a Lampard alongside him provides the best balance. However, he's likely to build around the skipper Gerrard. Up front, Rooney is certainly the fulcrum of the England attack. With the challenging upcoming fixture list for United, hopefully the minutes for their players will be limited in this friendly.

Here's the 20-,man Brazil squad for the friendly:

Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers), Diego Alves (Valencia)

Defenders: Daniel Alves, Adriano (both Barcelona), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Leandro Castan (Roma), Miranda, Filipe Luis (both Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Ramires (Chelsea), Arouca (Santos), Paulinho (Corinthians), Hernanes (Lazio), Oscar (Chelsea), Ronaldinho (Atletico Mineiro), Lucas Moura (Paris St Germain)

Forward: Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg), Neymar (Santos), Fred (Fluminense), Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo).

Perhaps most surprisingly, Rafael hasn't been named into the squad. He's definitely been better than a declining Dani Alves this season. Rio certainly seemed shocked by this:

"Just seen Rafael da Silva is not in the Brazil right-back in the premier league + CL this season... hungry and improving."

- @rioferdy5

Stuart Pearce will also lead the U-21 side on February 5 against Sweden. Three United players have been named into that squad -- Ben Amos, Phil Jones, and Wilfried Zaha. Pearce apparently aims to include these players this summer for the U-21 European Championships.

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