LONDON (AP) - England coach Steve McClaren dropped Joey Barton and Gareth Barry from his squad Friday for this month's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Andorra.
The pair were on the squad for last month's 1-0 friendly loss to visiting Spain.
Barton missed out because Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves returned to the 23-man squad after recovering from a broken leg.
McClaren said he hoped Hargreaves's return will stabilize the England midfield and allow Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to be more creative.
"We saw the importance of Owen at the World Cup," said McClaren. "In our first three games, he was the catalyst for our performances because he allowed Gerrard and Lampard more freedom to express themselves.
"We have missed that since he has been injured."
McClaren made no surprise picks for the crucial matches. Only two teams from the qualifying group advance to next year's tournament and England is three points behind leader Croatia and one behind Russia. It is tied with Israel and Macedonia.
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch is sidelined through injury but, despite media speculation, McClaren has opted not to call up Dave Nugent from League Championship club Preston.
England: Goalkeepers - Paul Robinson (Tottenham), Ben Foster (Watford), Scott Carson (Charlton).
Defenders - Gary Neville (Manchester United), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea, captain), Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Neville (Everton).
Midfielders - Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Newcastle), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle), Stuart Downing (Middlesbrough).
Forwards - Andrew Johnson (Everton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Darren Bent (Charlton).