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Cole to start against Brazil

6 February 2013 03:29

England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Ashley Cole will win his 100th international cap by starting against Brazil on Wednesday.

The Chelsea defender, who made his debut in 2001, will mark a century of appearances for England at Wembley.

While the 32-year-old will feature in the starting 11 at Wembley, Hodgson said he would not take the captain's armband from Steven Gerrard for the game.

Hodgson also defended the controversial full-back.

"If you are an England fan and don't respect and love someone for what he's done, that's your problem," he said.

The 65-year-old also described the left-back as the 'most consistent player over last 10-12 years in our team ... he deserves to celebrate that."

Meanwhile, Hodgson is keen to see expectations surrounding midfielder Jack Wilshere lowered.

Wilshere has displayed impressive form for Arsenal in the English Premier League this season following his return from a long-term injury lay-off which saw him miss the entirety of the 2011/12 campaign.

The 21-year-old made his international comeback as a second-half substitute against Sweden in November.

Wilshere is now set for his first start for England since June 2011, leaving Hodgson wary over the expectation placed on his shoulders.

He told reporters: "Jack is a player who carries a huge weight of responsibility at a young age.

"I hope everyone is going to understand he is still a young man, he is 21 and still capable of playing in the under-21s, not that he will.

"I'm anxious in some ways and, while delighted with his form and the way he plays and sharing everyone's enthusiasm about his quality, I want to play it down a bit too."

Hodgson said his squad possessed several players that were capable of making a significant contribution to the national team's cause, and hopes that will prove to be the case.

"I wouldn't like to see him have to take a backward step because all of a sudden his name is being put forward as the saviour of the English football team. We've got other players too," he said.

"I'm hoping Jack's contribution, which will be a big contribution, will be matched by big contributions by the other players like (Wayne) Rooney, (Steven) Gerrard, (Frank) Lampard, (Ashley) Cole, (Glen) Johnson."

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