World Cup 2014: England winger Andros Townsend looks forward to 'great test' against Germany next week
Townsend has enjoyed a fine start to his international career
Wednesday 13 November 2013
Andros Townsend wants England to prove they are a World Cup force to be reckoned with when they face Germany next week.
England will hold their first open training session of the international break at London Colney on Wednesday morning as they gear up for their friendly against Chile at Wembley on Friday.
The visit of the South American side is an intriguing one, but there is no doubt the clash against old foe Germany four days later is a much more tantalising prospect.
With the likes of Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm and Mario Gotze among their ranks, it is little wonder that Germany are considered one of the favourites for next summer's World Cup in Brazil.
Many have doubted England's ability to go far in the tournament, but Townsend feels the game against Joachim Low's men is a good opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong.
"I think that is a great opportunity to test ourselves against the best going into next summer," said the Tottenham winger, who enjoyed a memorable England debut last month against Montenegro.
"We can see where we are, we can see what we need to work on and see how far we have got to go to be one of the top nations, so it's a great friendly.
"It's one that everyone in the squad is looking forward to getting involved in."
Although no European nation has won the World Cup on South American soil, Germany are among the bookmakers' top tips for the tournament.
Italy, Holland and holders Spain have also been backed to win the World Cup, but England manager Roy Hodgson believes an African country has more chance of succeeding in South America due to the similarity in climate between the two continents.
Hodgson will attend Nigeria versus Italy at Craven Cottage next Monday, on the eve of England's game against Germany, and he is convinced that the five as yet undecided African qualifiers can go far.
"I think (African nations) may have a stronger chance than any of the European teams to be perfectly honest because of the climate," Hodgson wrote in his programme notes for the game, which is taking place at his old club Fulham.
"There are many African players out there of excellent quality now.
"They play in the top European leagues and that makes the African nations very strong.
"Nigeria have traditionally been one of the strongest, with some famous names in their team.
"Whoever is at the game on Monday night will see two very good teams and it will be an exciting outcome. Who knows, we may even see a little pointer for how things will go in Brazil."
England's squad met up in Watford on Tuesday, rather than at St George's Park, after concerns over a virus at the national football centre.
Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck have pulled out of the squad due to their respective Achilles and foot injuries.
Carrick's absence means Adam Lallana or Ross Barkley could make their first international starts against Chile, particularly as midfielder Jack Wilshere is unlikely to feature in both upcoming games because of the ankle injury he is carrying.
Uncapped Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez is likely to start in Welbeck's place given that Hodgson described him as a perfect replacement for the Manchester United man last week.
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