World of Sport

Why Jenkinson and Zaha got England call-ups

England coach Roy Hodgson has handed surprise call-ups to Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson and highly rated Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.

But the selections for the squad to play Sweden on Wednesday were not just a reward for the players' fine form this season - both are eligible to play for different countries and England want to secure their services.

Jenkinson has an English dad and a Finnish mum, and has represented both nations at various youth levels.

The FA hope that by handing the 20-year-old an England cap, they can head off any chance of Jenkinson switching allegiance to the Finns.

FIFA rules allow players to change country until they have played a competitive senior international, but Hodgson is confident Jenkinson's international future lies with England.

He said: "I don't want to trick (Jenkinson) to play for England in a few minutes in a game to block him, but he had to make a decision because we're very interested in him, even if the competition is tougher to get him into the England team rather than the Finland team. He made it very clear he wanted to play for England."

Zaha finds himself in a similar situation.

The Crystal Palace man, who has delivered some sparkling performances this season, was born in the Ivory Coast before moving to south London aged four.

He is an England Under-21 player, but was reportedly reluctant to accept the senior call-up on Sunday night and commit his future to the Three Lions.

Zaha, who was recently called by a pleading Didier Drogba trying to persuade him to represent the country of his birth, eventually accepted the England call at 9pm last night.

Spurs duo Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon are among five players to pull out of the squad for the Sweden game through injury.

Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott suffered injuries playing for Manchester United and Arsenal on Saturday, while Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey missed Sunday afternoon's draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

In addition, the FA said that Hodgson asked about the availability of Tottenham's Jermain Defoe and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but was told that Defoe - a substitute at Manchester City on Sunday - was injured and the latter not match fit, even though he featured in Saturday's draw with Fulham.

On Jenkinson, the FA said: "It is expected that the paperwork will be completed and sent through to The FA on Monday, meaning Jenkinson will be available for the match with Sweden on Wednesday night."

Hodgson could lose further members of his squad before they fly to Sweden on Tuesday. Steven Gerrard is due to win his 100th cap but Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers indicated his captain had suffered some kind of knee ligament damage at Stamford Bridge.

Should Gerrard miss out, goalkeeper Joe Hart would be in line to captain his country for the first time.