How England Will Line Up Against Denmark
England host Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night as manager Roy Hodgson begins to fine-tune his preparations ahead of this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
And the visit of the Danes, who did not make it to the finals in South America, will provide the Three Lions boss with an ideal opportunity with which to run his eye over those players who are currently on the fringes of selection for the tournament.
Meanwhile, it also gives Hodgson a chance to check on the form and fitness of other regulars as the clock begins to slowly tick down to when he names his final 23-man squad for the global showpiece event, which gets under way in June.
However, with captain Steven Gerrard, goalkeeper Joe Hart and striker Wayne Rooney all likely to be rested in midweek, England are set to have a new skipper, as well as a number of fringe players on show at the home of football. The Three Lions will be lining up with these starters in a 4-3-3 formation...
Goalkeeper: Ben Foster
The West Bromwich Albion shot-stopper is set to win his seventh cap for his country on Wednesday, despite having retired indefinitely from international football in May 2011.
And an eye-catching display between the sticks against Denmark will all but guarantee the 30-year-old’s position as back-up to No. 1 Hart in Brazil this summer ahead of rivals John Ruddy and Fraser Forster.
Left-Back: Luke Shaw
Right-Back: Glen Johnson
The experienced Liverpool defender has only just returned from a period on the sidelines in order to rest a series of niggling knee and groin problems.
However, with rival Kyle Walker set to miss out through injury on Wednesday, the marauding right-sided full-back goes straight into England’s defence to win what will be his 50th cap for the Three Lions.
Centre-Back: Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill is now England’s first-choice central defender after a series of impressive performances at the back for both club and country so far this season.
Although the Chelsea centre-back is still too often required to use his pace to help him recover from being caught out of position.
Centre-Back: Chris Smalling
However, the versatile Manchester United defender needs to improve drastically on some of his more recent displays at the back for the champions if he is to truly cement his place on the plane to Rio this summer.
Central Midfield: Frank Lampard (Captain)
The Chelsea veteran will skipper the team in the absence of Gerrard, however, the 35-year-old is now very much sweating on his spot in Hodgson’s final squad for Brazil 2014 after gradually seeing less and less game time at Stamford Bridge in this campaign.
Central Midfield: Jack Wilshere
The 22-year-old needs to just remind the watching public of his prodigious talents as we fast approach this summer’s World Cup. There is no better time to start that familiarising process than against the Danes at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Central Midfield: Jordan Henderson
The all-energy Liverpool youngster appears to have timed his run for the World Cup just perfectly, and the 23-year-old can put one foot on the plane to Rio by turning in a commanding display at the heart of the England midfield when the Danes come to town this week.
Right-Sided Forward: Raheem Sterling
Centre-Forward: Daniel Sturridge
As the highest-scoring Englishman currently operating in the Premier League, it is only right that the prolific Liverpool striker gets asked to lead the line in the absence of the rested Rooney against Denmark on Wednesday night.
Left-Sided Forward: Danny Welbeck
The 23-year-old has been one of United’s more impressive performers this season (although that is not saying much). The forward is capable of playing in a number of different positions in attack, making him a particular favourite of Hodgson’s, as does his performances for England.