Liverpool’s lanky striker Peter Crouch has been called up by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson for the crucial final World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland.

Eriksson also recalled Manchester United’s Alan Smith to his 24-man squad with Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves missing through injury.

Elsewhere, Sol Campbell and Ledley King return after injury.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard believes that in the absence of the suspended Wayne Rooney, Crouch can play a crucial role against Austria.

“I could have told you before that Crouch is one of the best at what he does,” said England midfielder Lampard.

“Every team gives you different problems and at Liverpool it was Crouch. First and foremost he is good at what he does, holding the ball up and trying to bring people into the game.

“He poses a different kind of threat to what you encounter elsewhere and does it very well.

“He has got great feet and not only does he flick the ball on but he is a good player with his feet. He is fresh and different.”

England squad

Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Tottenham), Robert Green (Norwich), Chris Kirkland (West Brom)

Defenders: Ashley Cole (Arsenal), Phil Neville (Everton), Luke Young (Charlton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), John Terry (Chelsea), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), Ledley King (Tottenham)

Midfielders: David Beckham (Real Madrid/ESP), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Alan Smith (Man Utd), Kieran Richardson (Man Utd)

Attackers: Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Darren Bent (Charlton), Peter Crouch (Liverpool).