Pearce Picks Clark

Young Villan Ciaran Clark has been named in the England under-21 squad for the crucial double header against Lithuania and Portugal.

Clark, who skippered the England under 19 side, has made just one senior start for Villa as he put in an impressive performance against Fulham on August 30.

The composed central defender, 20, has seen his reputation grow in recent months and he has become a key part of the all-conquering Villa reserves side.

The international test will be a tough learning curve for Clark because, after Stuart Pearce's side take on bottom of the table Lithuania on Tuesday, they face a tricky clash against one of the strongest sides at their level.

The Portuguese youngsters, much like their senior counterparts, have a great degree of flair and will be hard to stop.

But, it is all good experience for Clark, who will be aiming to provide a good challenge to Richard Dunne and James Collins for a regular first team place at club level in the months to come.