Having ended 2013 with back-to-back defeats at Wembley to Chile and Germany, Roy Hodgson will be eager to return a winning mentality to his England side when they face Denmark on Wednesday night.
With the Three Lions only scheduled to play three more friendlies before their Brazil 2014 campaign kicks off in Manaus on June 14, the match up with the Danes represents a last chance for some players to stake their claim for a place in Hodgson’s 23-man squad.
The England manager has previously stated he will not be afraid to omit big names from his World Cup squad, with Ashley Cole’s place being severely scrutinised after failing to hold down a regular starting position in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team this season.
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Denmark, who have beaten England twice in the last three occasions, will provide a stern test for the national side after they narrowly missed out on a World Cup playoff spot despite finishing runner-up to finalists Italy in Group B.
Despite Sol Campbell’s comments this week that he would have been England captain for 10 years had he been white instead of black, the issue of who wears the armband will be of little concern to Hodgson, with Steven Gerrard expected to lead out his countrymen on Wednesday night.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 8pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
2011: Denmark (Agger) 1-2 England (Bent, Young), International Friendly
2005: Denmark (Rommedahl, Tomasson, Gravgaard, Larsen) 4-1 England (Rooney), International Friendly
2003: England (Rooney, Cole) 2-3 Denmark (Jorgensen 2, Tomasson), International Friendly
England have lost their last two home international friendlies but were unbeaten throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign
In 18 previous meetings between the two countries, England have won 11, Denmark have won three and there have been four draws
In their previous ten international matches, England have an inferior record to the visitors having won four, drew four and lost two. Denmark have won six, drawn two and lost two.
18-year-old Southampton left back Luke Shaw could make his international debut on Wednesday
England to win: 1.61
Denmark to win: 5.5
Denmark 0-3 England
The last competitive meeting between the two countries was in Japan during the 2002 World Cup and offers fond memories to Three Lions supporters. Having progressed to the last-16 in relative comfort, an unlikely hero in the form of Rio Ferdinand gave England the lead after just five minutes before Michael Owen doubled the advantage with only 10 minutes on the clock. Emile Heskey – another unlikely goalscoring hero, you could say – completed a comfortable 3-0 victory for Sven Goran Eriksson’s men as they marched onto the quarter-finals. Cue Ronaldinho.
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