Micah Richards is the latest key player to pull out of the England Under-21 squad for their crucial final two European Championship qualifiers.[LNB] Manchester City defender Richards, 22, had reported sick after his club's Premier League defeat at Sunderland on Saturday.[LNB]He was given extra time to recover but failed to do so in time to make Wednesday's flight to Portugal for Friday's penultimate Group 9 clash.[LNB]Richards' withdrawal follows those of Jack Rodwell, Andy Carroll, Victor Moses, Henri Lansbury and Alex Smithies.[LNB]Midfield star Rodwell and forwards Carroll and Moses all pulled out with ankle injuries, while Lansbury had a groin problem and Smithies a dead leg.[LNB]The call-offs were bad news for England Under-21s, who need to win both Friday's match and Tuesday's game against Lithuania - and hope Greece do not win in Macedonia on Saturday - to guarantee a place in next summer's finals.[LNB]Smithies was replaced in the squad by Middlesbrough's Jason Steele for the Portugal game but could yet rejoin the party for Tuesday's match in Colchester.