England vs. Italy  2 - 1

Article

Hodgson to select out-of-favour players

15 August 2012 16:51

England manager Roy Hodgson admits he may have to select players who are not regulars for their clubs during the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Despite naming Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell in the squad for the friendly against Italy in Switzerland, the former West Bromwich Albion boss has expressed doubt over the amount of playing time the 21-year old will receive at his new club.

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has also been included for the match despite appearing to be out of favour with new Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.

"I'll be honest, this year there'll be quite a few times I have to select players who won't be in their team," Hodgson told reporters.

"Jack Rodwell, I don't know how many starts he'll get at City. That's a risk but it's the nature of the Premier League. (There are) so few English players in the league and many of them playing for the same club."

"Carroll's been good for us in training, he's been very enthusiastic. I spoke to Brendan Rodgers at length and he's training well, working hard, doing his best to break back into the team. As far as I'm concerned, that's good enough for me."

Goalkeepers are another issue for Hodgson to deal with, despite the presence of Manchester City regular Joe Hart as his established number one.

Aside from Hart, Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy is one of very few first choice English shot-stoppers in the top flight, while promising youngster Jack Butland is yet to play above League Two level after spending last season on loan at Cheltenham Town.

"The bottom line is we don't have that many goalkeepers to choose from anymore," Hodgson said.

"Go through the Premier League and see who's playing in goal. It's mostly foreigners.

"There's Robert Green and John Ruddy. And there's young Jack Butland, who has done very well but has only played for Cheltenham.

"Let's hope someone like Jack pops up and puts Joe Hart under pressure."

With qualifiers against Moldova and the Ukraine approaching next month Hodgson is hopeful the younger players can battle with his more experienced internationals for places in the first 11.

"At the Euros I had quite a lot of players I don't have with me on this occasion," he said.

"Hopefully some of the younger players will kick on and make life difficult for some of the guys who have been playing for some years."

Article

El Shaarawy eyes World Cup spot

15 August 2012 16:38

Attacker Stephan El Shaarawy is eagerly anticipating his Italy debut in the international friendly against England.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli revealed earlier this week that the AC Milan youngster will feature from the start against England and he is already dreaming of playing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"My dream is to be part of the 2014 World Cup, which must come as a result of my performances for Milan," El Shaarawy told reporters.

"This call-up means so much to me. This is the first call-up. I hope there will be a lot more.

"It is important to face such an established team like England. I am happy to have the chance to wear the Azzurri shirt. It's an opportunity to show what I can do.

"(Massimiliano) Allegri and Prandelli are two great coaches who know how to motivate a team, especially young players like me."

Article

International friendly preview: England v Italy

14 August 2012 10:51

England's international friendly against Italy will be a preview for the 2014 World Cup with both sides naming youthful squads for the clash.

The two teams last met in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 with England losing 4-2 on penalties after scores were tied 0-0 at full-time.

Italy went on to lose 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final to Spain, but both nations will be showing off very different sides in Wednesday's friendly in Switzerland.

Player commitments to Italian clubs Juventus and Napoli for Sunday's Supercoppa match in Beijing has led Italy to naming eight uncapped players in their squad.

Additions to the side include teenagers Mattia De Sciglio, Mattia Perin, AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy as well as 20-year-old Manolo Gabbiadini and Andrea Poli, 22.

Defender Federico Peluso and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli are also in line to collect their first caps.

England too will be without captain Steven Gerrard, Wane Rooney and Ashley Cole and Roy Hodgson has elected to leave John Terry out of the squad.

The English line-up will consist of 10 players from the Euro 2012 campaign and five members from Stuart Pearce's Olympic squad.

Michael Carrick, 31, has not played for the national side since 2010 but has earned a recall for the Italy clash.

Other notable inclusions are Jake Livermore, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Caulker and Tom Cleverley.

Frank Lampard has been recalled for the match after missing the recent Euro tournament with injury.

The English squad includes six uncapped players, and it is this inexperience which suggests Hodgson is already making preparations for the upcoming World Cup.

Italy has won two of the past four meetings between the sides, with England winning one and the other result ending in a draw.

The match is scheduled three days before the start of the English Premier League season but players are almost certain to back up for their clubs.