Norway test for Welsh youngsters

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The Independent Football

Mark Hughes said he is already preparing for Wales' match against England in next season's World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford in October.

Mark Hughes said he is already preparing for Wales' match against England in next season's World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford in October.

Hughes is preparing to send out his most inexperienced side in almost five years as an international manager here in Norway today, and he hopes it will prove good preparation. A possible team with an average age of 24, and little more than 100 caps between them, will face a pumped-up Norwegian side at the Ullevaal Stadium.

Hughes sees everything now as a preliminary to the confrontation with England on 9 October. "I am already planning for England," he said. "We have had them watched. It is a great fixture, everybody is looking forward to it. We are making sure we are prepared."

Hughes has seen 11 players withdraw from his original squad and is probably left to chose between Mark Delaney and Craig Bellamy for captain.

To add to Hughes' problems the Cardiff goalkeeper, Martyn Margetson, missed training with a back problem yesterday - Leicester's Danny Coyne may, therefore, win his fourth cap - while West Bromwich's Jason Koumas has Achilles problems and the Reading centre-back Adrian Williams has flu. Hughes will at least be able to play Bellamy in his first game since October after a spate of injuries.

WALES (probable) (4-4-2): Coyne (Leicester); Edwards (Aston Villa), Delaney (Villa), Gabbidon (Cardiff), Thatcher (Leicester); Oster (Sunderland), Koumas (WBA), C Robinson (Portsmouth), Vaughan (Crewe); Earnshaw (Cardiff), Bellamy (Newcastle). Substitutes: Margetson (Cardiff), Collins (Cardiff), Fletcher (Bournemouth), G Roberts (Tranmere), Williams (Reading), Barnard (Grimsby), Parry (Cardiff), Llewelyn (Wrexham), N Roberts (Wigan).

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