England are back in action for the first time since their dismal showing at the 2014 World Cup, as they welcome Norway to Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night for an international friendly.
Roy Hodgson’s men went out in Brazil without a win to their name, but a new-look squad means a new start for the Three Lions.
The clash with Norway will give the England manager a chance to experiment with his side before the serious business starts—European Championship qualification.
Date: Wednesday, September 3
Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ITV Player (U.K. only)
Young England Side Looking to Impress
England host Switzerland in their opening Euro 2016 qualification match on Monday, and while Hodgson will be looking to use Wednesday to get his side ready for such an important tie, a few England debuts could be in the pipeline.
The England boss has named a controversial side in his first squad since the World Cup, with four players gaining international recognition for the first time.
Calum Chambers, Danny Rose, Fabian Delph and Jack Colback could well don the famous white shirt for the first time against Norway, in a squad that has a very youthful feel to it.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is one of those that’s suddenly become a senior member of the squad, and he recently said that he’s ready to lead by example despite being just 24 years of age—per BBC Sport:
“It's time for the younger lads to step up to the plate and show what they've got to offer. There is a lot of talent in the group. It doesn't really matter how old you are."
That much goes for the new skipper Wayne Rooney, whose tenure as captain will officially begin against the Norwegians on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old was handed the armband on Thursday, and revealed that he was over the moon to lead his country—per England’s official feed:
While Rooney’s time as Manchester United captain hasn’t got off to the best of starts, he shouldn’t have a problem overseeing a victory against Norway, who don’t have the best record against England.
As 11v11 revealed, England have won 6 of the 11 ties played between the nations, with Norway failing to win a single friendly in that time.
The last meeting of which came in 2012 in Hodgson’s first match in charge of the Three Lions, with Ashley Young’s goal giving England the victory despite a lacklustre performance in Oslo.
However, back on the hallowed turf of Wembley with an exciting line-up set to be named, England can look forward to a good performance and result before heading to Switzerland, where they’ll hope for a repeat of such fortunes.
Form Guide and Prediction
Here’s a look at the last five games for both England and Norway:
While the Norwegians are stubborn in their approach, the English just about have enough about them to break them down. It’s unlikely to be pretty—it never is with England—but once a goal goes in, a couple more could follow.
Prediction: England 3-0 Norway