Britannia Stadium

Next Game

Stoke v Everton

Wednesday, 04 March 2015, 19:45

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton

Sunday, 01 March 2015, 14:05

Barclays Prem

Duo battling to join Baines

Leighton Baines is set to sit out England's friendly with Denmark, giving Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw a chance to impress.

Last Updated: 05/03/14 at 08:23 Post Comment

Ashley Cole (left): Has over 100 caps, while Luke Shaw (right) has none

Ashley Cole (left): Has over 100 caps, while Luke Shaw (right) has none

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Danes' visit to Wembley on Wednesday night marks the final friendly before England manager Roy Hodgson selects his squad to take to the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Of the 23 men going to to the finals, there will only be two left-backs, and Hodgson's admission that he does not need to look at Baines suggests the Everton defender is almost certain to go to the tournament.

That leaves Cole and Shaw vying for the final position in the squad.

"I've spoken to Leighton and he won't feature tomorrow, unless we get an incredible number of injuries," said Hodgson.

"All three of them want to play but even with substitutions, I can't fit in three left-backs.

"It's the right moment in this game to look at one of or both Luke and Ashley Cole, as Leighton has been playing regularly for us.

"The two I need to look at in an England shirt are Ashley and Luke."

Cole will win his 107th cap, while Shaw will be making his senior international debut.

The Chelsea defender, 33, has the benefit of experience but has made just 12 Premier League starts this term, and only two of them have come since the turn of the year.

Meanwhile, his Southampton rival, who will not turn 19 until after the tournament, is regarded as one of the most promising players in English football.

Hodgson says he is not about to give up on Cole just yet.

"Knowing Ashley as I do," said Hodgson, "I'm pretty certain he is working every day to show Jose Mourinho he is making the right choice.

"If he doesn't get back in the team, it is not going to change my opinion on Ashley Cole.

"I know what he can do, 106 caps for England says everything. It would quite simply be a choice at the end."

England captain Steven Gerrard has played alongside Cole in the international set-up for over a decade and he is sure the full-back will not give his place up without a fight.

"If you're a winner, you want to play so I'm sure Ashley is frustrated, but he's working to get back in the Chelsea team," the Liverpool midfielder said.

"He's never let the country down and has always been a very consistent player. Watching him the last couple of days I didn't see any problems with his fitness, and that's when he's not been playing."

Hodgson has also hinted that he could experiment with new formations, even though England lost both their November home friendlies to Chile and Germany when he last tinkered with the team and shape.

No England manager has ever lost three home games in a row, but Hodgson - who is expected to also field Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana on Wednesday - is not overly concerned by that.

"We don't want to lose games at Wembley, but (this game) won't decide whether we win the World Cup or we don't," he said.

"This is our last game before the World Cup so I'm hoping we won't lose, but I can't elevate it to the importance of the World Cup.

"If it so happened that we did lose, but I learnt some very important lessons that prevented a major mistake when I named the 23, it could be a benefit in disguise."

Kyle Walker will miss the game against the Danes, which will be preceded by a minute's applause in the memory of former England player Sir Tom Finney, who died on February 14.

Former Denmark coach Richard Moller Nielsen, who also died last month, will also be remembered before kick-off.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Mauricio Pochettino proud of Tottenham players despite Capital One Cup loss

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was proud of his players despite losing to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final.

Jose Mourinho hails players for adapting to gameplan in Capital One Cup success

Jose Mourinho hailed his players for adapting to his gameplan after Chelsea’s Capital One Cup final success against Spurs.

John Terry targets more Chelsea trophies after Capital One Cup success

John Terry says Chelsea's "massive" Capital One Cup final win over Tottenham could be the start of something special.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company