Noble gets England U21 call

Mark Noble could face Jack Collison in Under-21 action later this month after being named in the England squad for a 15 May friendly in Wrexham.

The midfielder, who turns 21 next Thursday, is part of a strong 23-man selection assembled by Stuart Pearce with other proven Premier League performers such as Michael Johnson, Theo Walcott and Gabriel Agbonlahor also included. England are on the verge of qualifying for the 2009 European U21 Championship play-offs this October as they sit six points clear of Portugal in qualifying Group 3 although their next competitive opponents on 5 September do have a game in hand. Collison had earlier been named in the Welsh party, with Brian Flynn's youngsters also well placed to reach the U21 finals in Sweden next year.