England faces a tough challenge against World Champions Germany at the Berlin Olympiastadion on Saturday evening. Roy Hodgson named his starting XI for the match on Friday evening:
GK: Jack Butland
With Joe Hart injured, Butland’s inclusion in the starting XI must surely indicate he is ahead of Fraser Forster in the pecking order. Butland has risen through the ranks this season at Stoke, and will start in what may be his toughest international fixture so far.
Defence: Nathaniel Clyne, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Danny Rose
Gone are the days of Neville, Ferdinand, Terry and Cole. England’s defence for tonight’s fixture is young, with Rose making his international debut. Rose deserves the call-up after an impressive season at Spurs, yet the exclusion of West Ham’s Cresswell has raised a few eyebrows. Although Smalling is likely to be the first defender on the team sheet after a fantastic season at Manchester United, many were surprised that Gary Cahill has been included alongside him as captain. Both Cahill and Smalling have the experience to neutralise what will be a fearsome German attack.
Midfield: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli
Alli and Dier have been simply superb for Spurs this season. Although young, Dier has offered solid protection for the Spurs backline, as well as being a base to start the attack from. Hodgson will hope that he can work just as well alongside Dele Alli now as he does with Spurs. With Jordan Henderson providing experience to what is a young English midfield, we can expect to see the Liverpool captain dictating England’s passing game whenever the 3 Lions have possession of the ball.
Attack: Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Harry Kane
The front three certainly raised a few eyebrows upon announcement. Harry Kane will hope to add to his tally of 3 goals in 8 international appearances for England. Danny Welbeck may not be performing particularly well for Arsenal, but Hodgson has shown faith in the young striker. Both Welbeck and the England faithful should take comfort in the fact that the Arsenal forward usually performs better for his country than for his club, scoring 14 goals in 33 appearances for the 3 Lions so far in his career. Adam Lallana is also a shock starter, considering his somewhat average season so far with Liverpool. Hopefully Lallana can replicate some of his form from a few seasons ago with Southampton, where he was one of the best players in the league.