SAINTS defender Nathaniel Clyne has been withdrawn from the England under-21 squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Sweden in Walsall.

He is one of four players pulled out of Stuart Pearce’s squad today through a mixture of injury and illness. The others are Manchester United defender Phil Jones, Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and Norwich left back Ryan Bennett.

Bennett’s withdrawal increases the chances of Saints starlet Luke Shaw making his England U21 debut in the game.

In the senior squad, Michael Carrick (hip) and Jermain Defoe (ankle) have both withdrawn from Roy Hodgson's squad to face Brazil on Wednesday.

Hodgson has yet to call up any replacements, with Saints fans hoping Rickie Lambert could benefit from Defoe’s withdrawal.

Hodgson has been left with four strikers in his squad – Wayne Rooney, Daniel Welbeck, Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge.

And of those, Sturridge is a big doubt.

The 23-year-old, who has just four senior caps, scored a brilliant goal against former club Manchester City earlier today , but then picked up a knock.

He remained on the pitch until he was substituted just before the final whistle but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is not optimistic about his chances of joining up with England.

"He got a knock just before half-time on his thigh and he wanted to give it a go in the second half," he said.

"I think he will be a doubt for the game on Wednesday, which is unfortunate because he was terrific today.”

Gaston Ramirez this evening became the second Saint, after Clyne, to withdraw from an international squad.

He was withdrawn from the Uruguay squad for Wednesday’s friendly against World and European champions Spain after picking up a leg injury at Wigan yesterday.