Fabio Capello looks for a convincing win as he prepares for a summer to remember.
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard will captain England in their friendly against Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday.
Gerrard fills in for the injured Rio Ferdinand, who was appointed captain after coach Fabio Capello’s decision to strip John Terry of the role.
Wes Brown will start at right-back, while Capello hinted the left-back spot would be filled by either Leighton Baines or Stephen Warnock.
Capello will not decide who will play in goal until the day of the match.
Manchester United’s Brown is the only right-back in Capello’s squad, while Everton’s Baines and Aston Villa’s Warnock are the only left-backs in the absence of Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge.
It had been suggested Capello might call on Everton centre-half Joleon Lescott or Villa midfielder James Milner to cover the problem position.
Chelsea’s Cole has a broken ankle, while last week Manchester City’s Bridge asked not to be chosen for England duty, thereby ruling himself out of this summer’s World Cup.
In goal, Capello must choose between Portsmouth’s David James, West Ham’s Rob Green or Birmingham’s Joe Hart.
All 24 members of Capello’s squad came through training on Tuesday, including Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who was substituted during his side’s 2-1 win over Everton at the weekend with a groin problem.
Wayne Rooney, who scored Manchester United’s winner in the Carling Cup final against Villa on Sunday, also took part despite his minor knee problem. (BBC Sport)
As the World Cup draws ever nearer the hopes of a nation once again hang precariously in the balance as every fan of the English national team hopes to high heaven that the players representing the nation do not choke. Lets face it there is no real reason why England shouldn’t be one of the leading contenders to win in South Africa. As a team they are clearly one of the best in the world, but that could equally be said of just about every recent squad sent out to participate in a finals tournament, except perhaps when Graham Taylor took the country to Sweden with a ramshackle side who were always going to fail miserably.
Egypt should present a pretty stern test. They of course failed to qualify for the showpiece event in the summer after they were beaten by Tunisia in a play-off decider in Sudan, but will be keen to prove themselves in front of the masses at Wembley.
Hassan Shehata has a few big names in his armoury with the likes of Mohamed Zidan and Amr Zaki perhaps being more well known to the English supporters.
So what will the score be? Well clearly friendlies are an odd animal to predict. Its all about players and formations being tried out together. England should still have enough about them to triumph and with a few fringe players looking to prove themselves to Capello tonight’s fixture is an ideal chance to win the England coach over.
My Prediction: 3-1 to England. If Rooney plays a significant portion of the game then he will score and that is my BET OF THE DAY. It may not win you a large sum of money but its worth shelling out for nonetheless and with odds of 4/5 its not a bad wager to partake in.