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In the 82nd minute of England's impressive friendly victory over Hungary in August 2010, 18-year-old Jack Wilshere came off the bench to replace 30-year-old captain Steven Gerrard. Two-and-a-half impatient years later, we will finally see England's finest central midfielders start an England game together against Brazil.
They have briefly played together - we were teased with 13 minutes against Sweden in November (13 minutes in which England were ahead) when Wilshere was only a handful of games into his return from fitness - but this will be our first real chance to ascertain whether their partnership is anything other than a wonderful theory.
Such is our desperation for a central midfield pairing that genuinely works, Wilshere and Gerrard were numbers 2) and 3) in our last England ladder after the latest round of World Cup qualifiers despite suspicions that the Arsenal midfielder would never return to his pre-crocked form. Even on a physio's table, Wilshere looked a better option than the impressively mobile but inferior Tom Cleverley or the impressive but immobile Michael Carrick as Gerrard's partner in midfield.
Four months on from the draw in Poland that intensified our craving for Wilshere, the pair are genuinely the in-form English central midfielders in the Premier League. And for once, that's not a tallest dwarf contest.
Both are fit. Both are blessed with technique and energy. Both have an all-round midfield game. Both have a sharp footballing brain (protected by strong, furrowed foreheads). Both are leaders. They have an awful lot in common but not enough to make it awkward. When Theo Walcott talks about the best English squad he has ever seen in training, we suspect it's with a glance towards the theoretically potent triumvirate of Wilshere, Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
At a time when England's traditional strength at centre-half has waned into mediocrity and there's a frightening lack of striker options (when people start talking about Adam Le Fondre and Rickie Lambert, start worrying. And then start punching them in the face.), there's finally the promise of a world-class central midfield partnership that does not have to compromise on creativity. There's something a little May to December about their potential union, but - fitness permitting - it could form the foundation of an England team bound for Brazil.
And yes, we know this is all 'theory' and 'potential' but after the desperation that led to Gareth Barry being rushed back from injury in 2010 and the sight of Scott Parker running through mud after an hour's football in 2012, we feel like we've paid enough dues to dream.