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Hudson-Odoi to make first England start as injury rules Sancho out of Montenegro clash

1:36 am AEDT 26/3/19
Callum Hudson-Odoi England 2019
The Chelsea winger is set to make his full Three Lions debut after coming off the bench in Friday's win over the Czech Republic

Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to make his first start for England in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Monday, Goal can confirm.

The Chelsea winger made his senior international debut off the bench in the Three Lions' 5-0 drubbing of the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday, forcing Tomas Kalas' comedic own-goal after his shot was parried out by Jiri Pavlenka.

The teenager has been afforded limited playing time at Stamford Bridge, with Maurizio Sarri appearing reluctant to play the 18-year-old ahead of Pedro or Willian on a consistent basis in the Premier League.

The pair of veteran wingers have just 17 goals between them in 87 combined appearances across all competitions, but have maintained their spots ahead of the talented youngster in the pecking order.

Hudson-Odoi has featured off the bench in just six league games this season, but he has played a part in every Europa League game so far, scoring four goals and recording two assists in his eight appearances in the competition. 

He also managed a goal and two assists from two starts against Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup.

The mazy dribbler's close friend, Jadon Sancho, started against the Czech Republic and impressed, and the prospect of the pair starting on the wings together for years to come is a mouthwatering one for England fans, particularly given the presence of Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson and the maturing Raheem Sterling.

Sancho, though, is set to make way in Podgorica having picked up a minor injury, with Hudson-Odoi set to join Sterling and Harry Kane in a three-man forward line.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is also being considered for a first start after Eric Dier picked up an injury on Friday while Dele Alli and Jordan Henderson will undergo late fitness tests before the starting XI is named.

Should either of the midfield duo not make it then Ross Barkley and James Ward-Prowse could be in line for starting berths.

Hudson-Odoi will hope to build on his 20-minute cameo and grasp his opportunity against Montenegro with both hands, as England boss Gareth Southgate affords him a vote of confidence not mirrored at club level.

Southgate has proven himself a firm believer of investing in young talent, having brought through several inexperienced players since taking over the senior squad.

Following England's surprise run to the World Cup semi-finals, Southgate has guided the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the Nations League, where they will play the Netherlands for a place in the final while looking to top their Euro 2020 qualification group.