England and Chile have already punched their tickets to next summer's World Cup in Brazil. Now, both sides have shifted focus to figuring out which players belong on the final roster, and high-profile friendlies like Friday's London meeting help the process.
The Three Lions enjoyed a successful qualifying cycle. They were unbeaten in Group H of UEFA, racking up 31 goals and giving up just four in 10 matches. Building off that strong form heading into the World Cup would make England dangerous.
Chile went through some ups and downs during CONMEBOL qualifying, but did enough to earn third place and a direct trip to Brazil. Finding a way to solidify the back line through friendlies like this one is essential for La Roja.
All told, it should be a good measuring stick match for both sides as World Cup preparations begin in earnest for national teams around the globe. Let's take a look at all the key information for the clash, followed by the top storyline and a match prediction.
Where: Wembley Stadium in London, England
When: Friday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. GMT)
Watch: Fox Sports 1 and ITV 1
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Match Odds (via Bovada)
Top Storyline: Which fringe players will make an impression on Roy Hodgson?
Hodgson knows what stalwart members of the England squad such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard bring to the table. The task in the coming months is figuring out which players are most deserving of a spot on the roster for Brazil.
Club form is obviously going to play a major role, but these friendlies are equally important. Players who are currently sitting on the roster bubble can start to carve out a role for themselves with strong showings on the international stage.
Since the result of the match is less of a concern, the veteran manager can afford to tinker with the lineup and give some players opportunities they likely wouldn't get if England was still battling through the UEFA playoffs for a spot in the World Cup.
Emerging talents like Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley and Phil Jones, all of whom have very limited experience with the national team, should get an opportunity to shine either against Chile or next week against Germany. How they respond is paramount.
England has been playing well, so Hodgson isn't going to completely overhaul the roster between now and next summer. But there are spots available for those who impress during the build-up to the tournament, and no shortage of players who want to fill them.
It's an evaluation process that will start to intensify against Chile. Hodgson will soon find out which players are ready to take the next step in their international career.
Chile is a potential World Cup sleeper team. Led by Alexis Sanchez, Matías Fernandez and Eduardo Vargas, it has a very potent attack. The defensive effort has lagged behind throughout qualifying, however, and that's not good news heading into Wembley.
England should be able to take advantage of those faults along Chile's back line in an entertaining back-and-forth match. The Three Lions should score a narrow victory and continue to raise hopes with the countdown to Brazil underway.
England 2, Chile 1
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