England v Belgium preview

Team news for Saturday evening's international friendly between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm).

Last Updated: 01/06/12 at 21:11

Parker: Set to start in central midfield

Parker: Set to start in central midfield

More of the games that matter

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

Roy Hodgson has confirmed Scott Parker will start Saturday's friendly in central midfield alongside skipper Steven Gerrard.

In training on Friday morning it appeared an entirely new defence comprising three Chelsea players - John Terry, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole - would be joined by Glen Johnson, with Joe Hart returning in goal.

But Hodgson has ruled Wayne Rooney, suspended for England's opening two games in Poland and Ukraine, out of a starting berth against the Belgians.

"It is in my thinking for Wayne play some part in the game," Hodgson told BBC Radio Five Live. "But my first priority is to have looked at the squad fully in order to pick a team against France.

"I am not really bothered about Wayne playing because I know what he can do for the team. I am not even that bothered if he doesn't come on because his fitness will come on with the training sessions we do. In fact it might help him.

"But it would be nice if I could find an opportunity to get him on the field."

Andy Carroll may be offered the opportunity to build on last week's encouraging display in Norway, although Danny Welbeck played a full part in the training session after his recent ankle complaint and is also in contention.

Teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also in the mix following an impressive cameo in Oslo, although it still seems doubtful he will make his first start.

"He is working well and training hard," said Hodgson. "He is a bona-fide member of the squad so he has as much chance as anyone else of getting into the team, not only for tomorrow but in the future."

Belgium defender Vincent Kompany could miss out with a calf injury.

The Manchester City skipper is keen to play at Wembley but has been hampered in his preparations for the game and does not want to take any unnecessary risks.

Marc Wilmots had been looking to partner Kompany with Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen at centre-back in a key game for Belgium as they build towards World Cup qualifying.

But Belgium caretaker manager Wilmots will allow Kompany to decide whether he is fit.

"Vincent stayed at the hotel where he worked on the rehabilitation of his calf injury," Wilmots said.

"I will have a chat with him tonight after I get back to the hotel.

"He will definitely be warming up tonight before the game and then decide afterwards whether to play him or not.

"I will give him the opportunity to make the decision himself because he it is such a special game for him.

"He is the best player in the Premier League so it is a special game for him, representing his country on this holy turf."

Wilmots is looking forward to coming up against England and will be hoping to inflict more pain upon Hodgson.

The former midfielder scored in the 1997 UEFA Cup final to help Schalke 04 defeat the Three Lions boss' Inter Milan side.

"We have lots of respect for Roy Hodgson and the English game," Wilmots said. "I have a long history with Roy Hodgson because I beat him in the UEFA Cup final when he was coach of Inter Milan.

"We won 1-0 and I scored, but I am very much looking forward to seeing him again."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Fixtures

Wednesday, 25 March 2015
00:00
Denmark v USA  
15:00
Georgia v Malta  
19:30
Germany v Australia  
19:45
Scotland v N Ireland  
Thursday, 26 March 2015
15:00
Costa Rica v Paraguay  
Nigeria v Bolivia  
15:30
Iran v Chile  
20:00
France v Brazil  
Friday, 27 March 2015
10:30
Japan v Tunisia  
11:00
Korea Rep v Uzbekistan  

Footer 365

Boro claim top spot as Derby lose

Middlesbrough became the new Championship leaders as they took advantage of Derby's latest slip by beating Millwall 3-0.

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Benteke's late show helps end Villa's long wait for a win

Tim Sherwood recorded his first win as Aston Villa boss as Christian Benteke's late penalty helped beat West Brom 2-1.

Southampton 1-0 Crystal Palace: Sadio Mane's late strike keeps Saints in the hunt for fourth

Sadio Mane struck late at St Mary's to give Southampton a crucial 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

Mail Box

There Are Mitigating Circumstances For LVG

One Mailboxer is admant there are mitigating circumstances to LVG's struggles at Manchester Utd and he offers his four signings for next season...

LVG Stick Needs A Little Context...

LVG's rough ride from the media needs some context - then you would understand, while the Mailbox urges Nabil Bentaleb to go down...

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