Roy Hodgson upbeat despite injury problems
It’s been a tough build up to the clash for the Three Lions coach, with strikers Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe both ruled out of the tie due to problems sustained with their respective clubs.
As well as the front-men, Manchester United’s in form midfielder Michael Carrick has been ruled out.
Hodgson admitted that injury issues aside, he believes his team are fully prepared to take on Brazil:
“Everybody is fit. We were disappointed to lose the three players we originally selected but luckily we’ve still go plenty left.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“We all trained today and we’re all now set for tomorrow.”
One player who is guaranteed a starting spot is Chelsea’s Ashley Cole.
The full-back is set to win his 100th senior international cap, making him the seventh player in history to reach the milestone.
Hodgson confirmed that Cole will start, despite Leighton Baines’ excellent recent form:
“He’ll start the game, then I’ll have to see what to do with Leighton (Baines), who has been doing very well. Ashley will definitely start.”
There has been speculation that Cole may lead the team out onto the Wembley pitch to mark the special occasion, but Hodgson played down these rumours, stating that Steven Gerrard will retain the captain’s armband:
“I don’t see any reason why the captain should let anyone else lead the team out,” he added.
“Ashley does his talking and work on the field and I don’t think he’s ever pushed himself forward during his 100 appearances as a potential captain of the team.”