Wayne Rooney
Rooney and Sturridge back in the England squad. (Reuters)

Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge have been named in the England squad for World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley.

The Manchester United striker missed his country's previous two qualifiers after suffering a nasty cut on his head after a training ground accident with Phil Jones, but has returned to a much strengthened pool of strikers that also includes Liverpool's top scorer Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert and Jermain Defoe.

The England boss also gave Manchester City's under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart his full backing following another error-prone evening against Bayern Munich.

"I am not blind to the situation, I do realise it is not a good moment for Joe," Hodgson told a press conference, after including Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the squad after his inspired performance in Celtic's Champions League loss to Barcelona.

"He is a proud man and a very good goalkeeper and I am sure when he is criticised he is unhappy.

"I still believe in Joe, I believe he is the right man for the job and I don't believe he will let England down."

Everton youngster Ross Barkley has again been included in the squad as part of a largely unchanged midfield which includes Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend, who is still waiting to make his senior debut after an impressive start to the 2013/14 season.

The return of Rooney and Sturridge up front will be welcomed after England greatly strengthened their qualifications hopes with positive results against Moldova and Ukraine, fixtures where Hodgson's striking options were limited to Lambert and Defoe for the crucial 0-0 draw in Kiev due to injuries.

Both Rooney and Sturridge have been in fine form for their respective clubs after missing the last international break.

The United striker has struck five goals in five games in all competitions, while Sturridge has added another two to lift his tally for the season up to seven.

Both are in line to start for the Three Lions should they come through this weekend's round of Premier League fixtures unscathed.

The United striker missed his club's 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donestk in their mid-week Champions League game with a shin injury, but David Moyes has confirmed he will be fit to return for Saturday's game against Sunderland.

England currently sit top of Group H, a point ahead of Ukraine and Montenegro and two more wins will ensure safe passage to Brazil 2014.

England squad in full:

Fraser Forster, Joe Hart, John Ruddy

Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker

Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere

Jermain Defoe, Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck