England's friendly with Norway will be the first audition for Roy Hodgson's new-look squad. The Three Lions boss has shaken things up considerably after a dire showing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Hodgson has attempted to infuse some youth in the ranks. He's turned to inexperienced trio Calum Chambers, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph for help, per Sky Sports.
The same report indicated Andros Townsend and Josh Stones will also be in the group. But former touted prospect Jack Wilshere will outplay the new faces at Wembley.
It's clear Hodgson is trying new formulas and combinations. That's a wise policy in friendly matches. However, Hodgson shouldn't take too long knowing who his best players are and his team's preferred method of play, especially with the qualifiers for Euro 2016 looming.
Before a preview, here's the schedule information:
|Wednesday, September 3||8.00 p.m. BST / 3 p.m. ET||ITV 1 / Fox Sports 2||ITV Player / Fox Soccer 2Go.|
ITV.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com
Jack Wilshere Must Take Leading Role
Hodgson would rest easier if young midfield terrier Jack Wilshere could stay fit. The 22-year-old has been identified as a leading figure in his manager's current and future plans, per the FA's official website:
He is a player who has been on the radar for a long time, and has been unlucky with injury. He broke onto the scene long before I came along, but of course, when I came along he wasn't available because of the long-term injuries.
We got a chance to briefly see him before he got injured again, so it's probably only been the last six months or so, leading up to the World Cup, where he's become a feature and someone who could fit the bill for the midfield.
We have high hopes of people like Jack, but I don't think he'll have to shoulder the responsibility alone - there are others.
The extremely frustrating thing about Wilshere is that he's potentially an exceptional talent whose development is constantly disrupted by ankle problems. It's a shame because no England midfielder has his comfort and confidence on the ball.
But despite his technical assurance, there are rough edges to Wilshere's game. He still plays too pumped, making rash tackles, playing quick passes when steady possession will do and over-hitting through balls.
Those are all foibles that can be corrected with game time, if he ever got any. His performance in Arsenal's 1-0 UEFA Champions League home win over Besiktas, perfectly encapsulated Wilshere's erratic style.
Wilshere was in the action from the very start, showing the return of that burst of pace that so excited Arsenal fans. He skipped past tackles and shot just wide after 10 minutes, and his wriggle into the box, exchanging passes with Özil, set up Sanchez’s winner and nearly made another for Cazorla. And yet there were still enough clumsy tackles and imprecise passes to give pause for thought.
So far, Wilshere has featured prominently for Arsenal at the start of this season. He started Arsenal's first four games in both Premier League and Champions League action.
Can Jack Wilshere be England's talisman?
Count on Wilshere taking advantage of his renewed confidence and current fitness to thrive against Norway. Although he'll have to overcome a few tough and experienced campaigners in the middle.
Norwich City player Alexander Tettey is sure to try and make things uncomfortable for England's pass master, as is Celtic's Stefan Johansen. But Wilshere will come through the test and outplay his fellow young teammates.
Predicted Final Score: England 2-1 Norway
Wilshere will inspire a group of upstarts out to prove a point to their manager and the nation.