Denmark’s visit to Wembley on Wednesday night is the first of four matches that Roy Hodgson’s England side will face before their opening World Cup group game against Italy on June 14th.
The England manager insists that places are still up for grabs before he names his 30-man provisional squad on May the 13th which means there is a great chance for first-time international and Southampton defender Luke Shaw to win a place, plus another chance for the in-form Raheem Sterling of Liverpool and Cardiff’s Steven Caulker to win a place on the plane to Brazil.
This will be the last friendly before Hodgson names his 30-man squad, the subsequent friendlies against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras all take place after he has to submit his initial squad.
Speaking to reporters, Hodgson was quick to offer hope to anyone not selected for the game against Denmark.
“It would be very foolish of me in March to give a definitive 30-man squad [for the World Cup],” Hodgson told reporters. “This is the squad I have chosen for now.
“Andy Carroll has hardly played [after returning from injury]. Adam Johnson is a player we know and because of the competition we have decided not to include him in this squad.”
Kyle Walker in unlikely to feature in Wednesday night’s game, while Caulker, Andros Townsend, John Ruddy and Adam Lallana all missed training on Monday morning, a decision on those four won’t be taken until Wednesday.
For the Danes’ Toulouse striker Martin Braithwaite picked up a knock in his side’s 2-0 win over Nice and it has been confirmed he will miss out. Another player who could be absent is Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen, it is suggested he won’t play unless he is 100% fit.
England will start as favourites to win Wednesday night’s game; this is not a World Cup preparation match for Morten Olsen’s side as they missed out on the play-offs despite finishing as Group B runners-up. Denmark will be hoping to perhaps pick up some momentum before the qualification process for the 2016 European Championships gets underway.
The last time the two sides met, England beat the Danes 2-1 away from home, coming back from a goal down in Copenhagen. Daniel Agger gave the home side the lead after eight minutes but Darren Bent and Ashley Young struck back to give England the friendly victory.
ENGLAND: Foster – Johnson, Cahill, Smalling, Baines – Lampard, Wilshere, Henderson – Sterling, Welbeck, Sturridge
DENMARK: Schmeichel – Jacobsen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Agger – Kvist, Sloth, Eriksen – Kusk, Bendtner, Krohn-Dehli