Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw out of England Under-21 friendly

Shaun Cummings, Raheem Sterling
© PA Photos
England youngsters Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw pull out of the Under-21 squad for tonight's friendly against Sweden through injury.

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has been forced to deal with a series of injury withdrawals ahead of tonight's friendly with Sweden, including Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling.

The 18-year-old was charged with assault last week but Pearce has insisted that Sterling is absent from the match purely due to a leg injury.

He told reporters: "He's injured unfortunately, he's got a dead leg. It's a shame as I'd like to have started him."

Southampton starlet Luke Shaw has also pulled out after picking up a knock in training at St George's Park on Monday.

The 17-year-old is not thought to have suffered a long-term problem and has returned to St Mary's today merely as a precaution.

The pair join Phil Jones in missing the game at Walsall's Bescott Stadium after the Manchester United defender contracted shingles yesterday.

Phil Jones
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