Crystal Palace starlet Zaha earns first call-up as Hodgson patches up his injury-hit squad

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson last night handed a first call-up to in-demand Crystal Palace prodigy Wilfried Zaha amid a spate of injury concerns before Wednesday’s friendly in Sweden.

Versatile forward Zaha, 20, has scored four goals this season in Palace’s charge to the top of the Championship and has been scouted by a host of top Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

His addition to the squad for the trip to Stockholm comes amid concerns over the fitness of Theo Walcott, a player he has been mooted to replace at the Emirates Stadium, who suffered a buttock injury on Saturday.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could miss the match after hurting his ankle in the weekend win at Aston Villa, while Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Jonjo Shelvey emerged as doubts last night.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said Shelvey’s thigh problem would be assessed by England doctors, but raised hopes that Gerrard would recover from a knock in yesterday’s draw at Chelsea to win his 100th cap.

Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson is poised to join the squad after receiving clearance to switch allegiance from Finland, who he represented at Under-19 and Under-21 level.