The Three Lions will continue their preparations for the World Cup when they meet Ecuador at the Sunlife Stadium in Miami.
Roy Hodgson’s men beat Peru 3-0 at Wembley on Friday before setting off to the United States, and the England boss looks likely to rotate his XI for this clash against their South American opponents.
Two players who Hodgson has confirmed will definitely start are Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, both of whom are looking to gain some much-needed match fitness, per BBC Sport:
They will both play from the start. They could have both played against Peru, but we thought an extra day's training would do them more good than being on the bench.
Our plan really on Wednesday is basically to start the people who didn't start on Friday. But plans like that sometimes go astray and I'm not prepared to make any promises.
The Ecuador team will also be looking for a strong performance themselves ahead of the Brazil showpiece and with players from both sides undoubtedly desperate to impress ahead of the big kick-off, we look set for an intriguing spectacle.
Here’s all the information you need on where to catch the game online and on the box:
Date: Jun. 4 2014
Time: 8 p.m. (BST), 3 p.m. (ET)
Live Stream: ITV Player (UK), beIN Sports Play (US)
TV Info: Live on ITV and ITV HD (UK), beIN Sports (US)
Ahead of the World Cup, the bulk of the England starting XI looks to be set in stone. But there a few places in the first team that still look to be up for grabs, even at this late juncture.
Two players who will be hoping to convince the England boss that they’re ready to perform on the world stage are the youngsters from Merseyside: Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley. The duo both made impressive cameo appearances against Peru, and former Germany international Dietmar Hamman thinks both players should be starting:
Sterling and Barkley would go straight into Germany's team right now. They must have half a chance getting into England's. They are special.— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) May 30, 2014
Of the two, it’s Sterling that looks to have the most likely chance of making the first XI against Italy on Jun. 14. The Liverpool forward enjoyed a tremendous end to the campaign and is in direct competition with Danny Welbeck for a starting berth.
A strong performance from the 19-year-old will certainly give Hodgson something to consider, especially when England come up against an Italy side who can look a little ponderous defensively; a weakness which Sterling's blistering pace would be capable of exploiting.
Ecuador are set to provide stern opposition, as they attempt to find some form away from home. Reinaldo Rueda’s team won all but one of their home games in qualifying for the World Cup, but they do have a significant advantage due to the fact they play at altitude. By contrast, when they weren’t on their own patch in qualifying, they were unable to win a game.
The standout man for La Tri is Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia and he’ll be looking to give England’s left side a tough time with his powerful vertical forays. He should offer a strong test of the credentials of 18-year-old left back Luke Shaw, who is likely to deputise for Leighton Baines in this one.
Who will win this one?
Despite the fact that Hodgson is likely to rotate his XI, England still should have too much for this Ecuador team. Rueda’s team are frantic and intense going forward, but their lack of organisation and inability to recycle possession will see them struggle to keep the ball against a vibrant Three Lions outfit.
From an England point of view, expect big performances from the likes of Sterling, Barkley and Shaw, for who this game will provide a crucial learning experience. If these exciting young players can find their groove early on, the pace, power and energy they can bring to the table will cause their South American opponents a host of problems.