England manager Hodgson rules Welbeck out of Brazil friendly

The Three Lions striker has failed to recover from a knee injury in time for Sunday’s friendly at the Maracana Stadium, leaving the visitor's short of attacking options
England manager Roy Hodgson has officially ruled striker Danny Welbeck out of Sunday’s friendly with Brazil at the Maracana Stadium.

Welbeck adds to a long list of England absentees due to injury, including Andy Carroll, Daniel Sturridge, Tom Cleverley and Kyle Walker – while Jermain Defoe took part in training after suffering an achilles strain against Ireland.

The Three Lions' boss says Welbeck’s injury does leave the squad slightly thin, but England will have enough substitutes to make six changes during the game.

The England manager told reporters: "It's unfortunate that Danny Welbeck hasn't recovered from Wednesday. We only have the players who we stepped off the plane with.

"We might need one or two more. But you're only allowed six subs in the game, so we have the requisite number to play.

"I've not spoken to the players about the team yet. Our possibilities for change are not that numerous. It's good to be limited and the players play for a longer period of time."

Reflecting on the opportunity to visit and play in Rio de Janeiro, Hodgson was pleased with the players being able to experience the culture of the World Cup 2014 host nation.

"It's been great coming here,” the 65-year-old continued.

"Great for the players who have never been to Brazil before. They get a feel for the country."

Brazil take on England at the venue of next summer's World Cup final at 20.00 BST on Sunday.