Veteran players Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were left out of England's squad on Sunday for its final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro when just a point is required to reach the finals.

The 32-year-old Ferdinand has featured in Manchester United's last three games but the center back was also dropped for England's two qualifying wins last month.

Gerrard, though, has just returned from six months out with a groin injury, with the 31-year-old midfielder making three substitute appearances for Liverpool.

Joleon Lescott has also been omitted from the defensive options, with right back Kyle Walker named in the 24-man squad hours after scoring Tottenham's winner against Arsenal.

But Tottenham teammate Jermain Defoe, who failed to score in the 2-1 win, has been omitted in favor of Fulham striker Bobby Zamora, who netted on Sunday in a 6-0 rout of Queens Park Rangers.

Zamora's only England appearance came in a friendly against Hungary in August 2010, before being sidelined by a broken leg.

Goalkeeper Scott Carson has been recalled for the first time since joining Turkey's Bursaspor, taking the place of West Ham's Robert Green, who is injured, to provide backup to Manchester City's Joe Hart.

England has a six-point lead in Group G over Montenegro, which still has two games to play.

And if Fabio Capello's side is beaten by Montenegro it might have to go through a playoff to reach the European Championship finals it missed out on in 2008 under Steve McClaren.

Capello will stress to his players the need for cool heads in Montenegro where the Italian coach expects a hostile reception.

''It will not be an easy game because the atmosphere, the fans, everything, will be really bad,'' Capello said. ''It will be noisy and intense ... I will speak about the atmosphere we will find.

''We need to prepare for everything that can happen before the game, during the game, in the dressing room, everything. Not provocation. We need to be careful about the provocation.''

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (Bursaspor), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David Stockdale (Ipswich).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Bolton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Micah Richards (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Forwards: Darren Bent (Aston Villa), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Bobby Zamora (Fulham).