England - Belgium Preview: Hodgson looking to continue perfect start despite Lampard injury blow
The 64-year-old's side triumphed by the narrowest of margins against Norway in Oslo and will now look to maintain momentum ahead of Euro 2012 in front of the Wembley crowd
By John Stammers
Jones, Terry, Cahill, Cole
Walcott, Milner, Parker, Downing
Alderweireld, Kompany, Vermaelen, Vertonghen
Witsel, Defour, Fellaini, Hazard
Frank Lampard has become the latest member of the England squad to pull out of Euro 2012 after scans revealed that the midfielder's thigh injury, picked up in training, will rule him out of action. Jordan Henderson should replace the Chelsea man in the squad, and could play some part against Belgium on Saturday.
Lampard joins Gareth Barry (groin), who was also forced to withdraw from the squad following a problem picked up against Norway, Roy Hodgson has called up Everton's Phil Jagielka to replace the Manchester City midfielder.
Scott Parker is struggling for fitness after a recent Achilles problem and Ashley Young missed one team session during the week in order to focus on an individual fitness problem and he may be rested at Wembley. Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Glen Johnson are all also expected to miss out with injury.
Belgium's Premier League stars are expected to be out in force on Saturday, as they plan to spoil England's preparations for next week's Euro 2012 opener against France. Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany and Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku should feature, while the Blues' new man Eden Hazard is also in line to face a number of new team-mates.
Despite missing the majority of their Premier League season, Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen has been included in Marc Wilmots' squad and could be fit in time to face England, while Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini and Fulham star Moussa Dembele are all also potential starters.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The goal-line technology system 'Hawk-Eye' will be trialled during the friendly at Wembley, however officials will not have access to the data produced.
- England are unbeaten in 10 meetings, in normal time, with Belgium since the Second World War. The visitors have only beaten England twice.
- The Three Lions have a 70% winning record against Belgium, bettered only by their rate against Northern Ireland (from sides played at least 12 times).
- Providing an assist ever 185 minutes while playing for England, Stewart Downing (pictured right) has the best rate of any player in the home side's squad.
- Following Jordan Henderson's call-up, former Liverpool boss Hodgson now has five Reds' players included, more than from any other club.
- Belgium drew 2-2 at home to Montenegro, who finished second behind England's Euro 2012 qualifying group, on Friday in their last friendly match.
- Vincent Kompany & Co. faced the Three Lions' Group D opponents, France, in November and managed to hold Laurent Blanc's side to a 0-0 draw.
- Marc Wilmots' side lost only once during the 2011-12 season, suffering a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Germany in their final Euro 2012 qualifier in October 2011.
Top 3 Predictions
England 2-1 Belgium
- 14.78 %
England 2-0 Belgium
- 12.79 %
England 3-1 Belgium
- 9.45 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||02-Jun-2012||England 1 - Belgium 0|
|06-Mar-2014||England 1 - Denmark 0||FR|
|20-Nov-2013||England 0 - Germany 1||FR|
|16-Nov-2013||England 0 - Chile 2||FR|
|16-Oct-2013||England 2 - Poland 0||WCQE|
|12-Oct-2013||England 4 - Montenegro 1||WCQE|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed