Ashley Cole to reach 100 caps against Brazil confirms Roy Hodgson
The Chelsea left-back will start tomorrow's friendly
England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Ashley Cole will start against Brazil tomorrow evening, seeing the defender reach 100 caps for the national side.
Hodgson told reporters: "He'll start the game, then I'll have to see what to do with Leighton (Baines), who has been doing very well. Ashley will definitely start."
The Chelsea left-back will become the seventh player to make 100 England appearances, joining Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106), Billy Wright (105) and Steven Gerrard (100) in the select group.
There had been some doubt over whether Cole would feature in tomorrow's friendly match at Wembley, with the form of Leighton Baines putting the 32-year-old's position in the team under pressure.
The former Arsenal player made his debut in 2001 against Albania under Sven-Goran Eriksson and has since featured in three World Cups and been among the national team's most consistent performers.
Named England player of the year in 2010, Cole has at times endured a fraught relationship with the FA, memorable labelling the governing body a #bunchoftwats on Twitter.
As such, there has been uncertainty over how the occasion will be marked, and Hodgson has ruled out Cole captaining the side.
Hodgson said: "I don't see any reason why the captain should let anyone else lead the team out.
"Ashley does his talking and work on the field and I don't think he's ever pushed himself forward during his 100 appearances as a potential captain of the team.
"I think he's just very happy to be a key player in the team so I'm pretty certain he won't be trying to rip the armband off Steven tomorrow.
As Cole prepares to join national captain Gerrard among England's centurions, the Liverpool man agreed his team-mate should now be mentioned as an all-time great.
"I think he deserves to be in there," he told Sky Sports News. "I look at the players I played with throughout my career and I think he's been one of the most consistent."
Despite the fanfare of a game organised to mark the FA's 150th anniversary, tomorrow serves mainly as a warm-up to two important World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
Gerrard added: "Its exciting times and I think the FA have produced some fantastic fixtures.
"We start against Brazil and I know it's a friendly but we want to go into the qualifiers in good shape."
The Liverpool midfielder backed his Arsenal contemporary Jack Wilshere to establish himself for England after missing almost a year of football due to injury.
He added: "I think if he stays fit he's got the talent and the ability to be a top player for Arsenal and for England.
"He's had a disappointing time with injuries and I've been there myself. I hope he can get a good run in the team."
Gerrard also revealed his England team-mates have approached the FA with a view to supporting Paul Gascoigne after the former Three Lions midfielder admitted himself to a rehabilitation centre in the USA this week due to personal issues.
"It is something that we've already tried to do," Gerrard added. "We've spoken to the FA and we've made it clear we are able to help if needed."
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