Hart and Cresswell named in England squad for World Cup qualifiers

Aaron Cresswell


West Ham United pair Joe Hart and Aaron Cresswell have been called up by England for their two FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.

The Three Lions take on Malta in Attard on 1 September before hosting Slovakia at Wembley three days later as they look to extend their lead at the top of Group F.

England currently sit two points clear at the summit of the European qualifying group and could potentially secure their spot for Russia 2018 next month.

Hammers goalkeeper Hart will be hoping to add to his 71 international caps with his first as a West Ham United player, while Cresswell – twice capped by his country – will fight with Ryan Bertrand for a spot at left-back.

Both the full-back’s caps – in friendlies against Spain and France – have been won under current boss Gareth Southgate and the 27-year-old will want to prove what he can do in a competitive fixture for his nation.

Joe Hart
Hart, on the other hand, has been a regular for the Three Lions since cementing his spot as the country’s first choice stopper after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In England’s last home fixture, he captained his country for the second time, leading them to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Lithuania.

England were forced to come from behind to grab a late draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in their last qualifier, but will be keen to get back to winning ways in Malta.

The Three Lions have faced Malta just four times in their history, winning every meeting, and anything but a win in Attard would be a shock result.

Slovakia at Wembley could prove a tougher test, however, with the UEFA Euro 2016 group stage opponents just two points behind Group G’s leaders in qualifying.