Hodgson seeks balance for final friendly

Roy Hodgson will try to strike the right balance between youth and experience when he names his squad for the final warm-up friendly.

England's manager Roy Hodgson

Hodgson will name an enlarged squad of around 30 players for next Wednesday's home friendly against Denmark at Wembley.

Those players will convene in Watford on Sunday night and will then spend the following 72 hours trying to convince the England manager that they deserve to be on that plane to Brazil in June.

While much of the talk has been of a possible inclusion for the likes of Luke Shaw, Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling, Hodgson acknowledges he cannot put all his faith in relatively untested youngsters for the World Cup.

"We can't just throw every senior player aside because maybe in 2016 there will be even more youngsters coming through," the England manager said recently after the Euro 2016 qualifying draw.

"But we always want to make certain that we do select some young players."

Shaw has been widely tipped to be called up for the friendly against Denmark.

Given that Ashley Cole has not been playing regular first-team football, Shaw's call-up may come at the expense of the Chelsea left-back.

Hodgson has been impressed with the form of Norwich's Nathan Redmond, Sunderland winger Adam Johnson and the rejuvenated Zaha in recent weeks so they may be included.

Phil Jones and Kyle Walker are both struggling with hip injuries so Nathaniel Clyne and Jon Flanagan could be given a chance for the first time.

There are others who could receive a call-up. Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore have been playing well for Hull while Gareth Barry has also been in superb form for Everton.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll and West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster are fit again following long lay-offs.

Whoever is called up, they will be given a taste of what to expect if they make the plane to Brazil as Hodgson is hoping to relay some of the plans he has made as a result of his fact-finding trip to South America last week.

"Even though the focus is on Denmark we also want to introduce some ideas to the players that we have with regard to going to Brazil, about how we are going to do things logistically," Hodgson added.

The Football Association has confirmed that there will be a minute's applause before kick-off next Wednesday for former England international Sir Tom Finney, who died on February 14.



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