Walcott set for U21s duty

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Football News

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will be back with Stuart Pearce's England Under-21s this week after being overlooked for senior duty due to a lack of match-fitness.

Walcott has only just returned from a side strain and Fabio Capello, despite the 20-year-old scoring against Blackburn on Sunday, opted not to recall him for the World Cup qualifier in Ukraine.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was upset over Walcott playing for the Under-21s in the European Championships in the summer but was happy for his player to go on international duty this week and spoke to Pearce about a call-up for the qualifier against Macedonia on Friday.

"This is the perfect opportunity for the Under-21s to support the senior team," Pearce said on Tuesday. "I spoke with Arsene Wenger yesterday and we both agreed it would be right for Theo to come and join the squad."

Walcott replaces Sunderland's Lee Cattermole, who has a heel problem ruling him out of the Ricoh Arena clash. Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson was injured in Chelsea's reserve defeat to Arsenal on Monday night and will not join up with the squad.

Pearce will report back on Walcott's progress to Capello, who has picked the right-winger whenever fully fit since the former Southampton player scored a hat-trick against Croatia in Zagreb.

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Blackburn Rovers
Sam Hutchinson
Lee Cattermole
Premier League
Stuart Pearce
Theo Walcott

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