Monday 11 December 2017

Sturridge and Rooney set to lead English line

Jamie Holland

ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson expects Daniel Sturridge to be fit to partner Wayne Rooney up front against Germany at Wembley tonight.

Sturridge has been carrying a thigh injury and didn't complete yesterday's training session, but Hodgson insisted: "He's fine."

Rooney and Southampton's Adam Lallana are the only survivors from the team beaten 2-0 by Chile last Friday. Steven Gerrard will captain the side on his 108th appearance and join World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore in fourth place in the England appearance charts.

Lallana, Tom Cleverley and Andros Townsend will complete the midfield, with Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka and Ashley Cole forming the defence in front of Joe Hart.

Joachim Loew will hand a host of fringe players an "acid test" to prove their credentials. With Mesut Ozil, Philip Lahm and Manuel Neuer among those being rested, the Germany coach will give an international debut to Borussia Dortmund's 33-year-old goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker is a definite starter, while Marcel Schmelzer is set to replace 43-cap Marcel Jansen at left-back and Sven Bender should slot into midfield for Sami Khedira, who is recovering from knee ligament surgery.

Loew said: "Wembley is a mythical place, so what better test for these upcoming players to play. It is a deliberate acid test, not a 'B' team. I need to experiment."

England v Germany, Live, UTV, 8.0

Irish Independent

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