Roy Hodgson and England begin their preparations for next summer’s World Cup on Friday, as Chile, just two places behind England in the world rankings, visit Wembley for an international friendly.
It will be a much less nervous occasion than it was exactly a month ago when England defeated Poland to ensure qualification for the finals in Brazil, but it will be a testing game as Hodgson begins to experiment with players and tactics, looking to find the right formula in order for his team to have the best possible chance of competing with the world’s best.
Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez are both in line to make their England debuts, but a fair amount of attention will be on who Hodgson selects to play in goal. The out-of-form Joe Hart will not play, so Fraser Forster and John Ruddy are both expected to be given a chance to stake their claim in this game, and the encounter with Germany on Tuesday.
In the coming months, Hodgson must decide whether to continue with Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka as his two first-choice central defenders, and make the tough decision over who will be his left-back in Brazil, with Leighton Baines providing Ashley Cole with stiff competition.
Chile will be at their second consecutive World Cup, having also booked their place in Brazil in October. They came third in the South American qualifying group with nine wins from 16 games, and their squad includes Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, along with three England-based players in Gary Medel, Jean Beausejour and Gonzalo Jara.
Frank Lampard will captain England with regular skipper Steven Gerrard ruled out. Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, as well as Southampton striker Rickie Lambert and Manchester United pair Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck, is also unavailable due to injury.
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