After a comprehensive defeat by Chile on Friday, England will attempt to conquer rivals Germany on Tuesday in another international friendly at Wembley.
On Monday, Hodgson took the unusual step of naming his starting XI a day before the match. Among the headlines of that selection is a return for skipper Steven Gerrard and his Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge. Joe Hart will be back between the posts for the first time since Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea, while there are also recalls for the likes of Ashley Cole and Tom Cleverley.
Although manager Roy Hodgson was experimenting, giving some players their England debuts, the manner of the Chile defeat will surely have left him slightly worried about his team’s prospects for next year in Brazil, as the visitors, led by Alexis Sanchez, looked a much more accomplished side.
Fraser Forster, handed his first experience of the international stage in goal, was not given much to do overall, and had no chance for either goal, while John Ruddy was completely absent for the proceedings. The other debutants, Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, struggled to make a huge impact as Chile controlled the game for long periods, although Lallana will get his second chance to impress on Tuesday.
Germany will inevitably be one of the favourites to lift the trophy come the middle of July, and their Coach, Joachim Low, is using this game in order to learn more about some of the less experienced members of his squad. Sami Khedira has recently sustained a long-term injury, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been withdrawn – meaning a debut for Roman Weidenfeller – along with Mesut Ozil and captain Phillipp Lahm.
However, whatever happens it will be a stern test of England’s World Cup credentials against one of the world’s leading teams. Gerrard believes that the national team has improved since they famously lost to Germany in 2010, and now is the time to prove it.
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