Welbeck out of Brazil friendly

England coach Roy Hodgson is happy with his squad options for the friendly with Brazil on Sunday despite the confirmation that Danny Welbeck will not be able to play.

Last Updated: 02/06/13 at 19:11

Danny Welbeck: No Maracana outing for Manchester United striker

Danny Welbeck: No Maracana outing for Manchester United striker

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Welbeck has not recovered from a knee injury in time for the prestigious Maracana clash, leaving Hodgson with a squad that is only just enough to fill a complete bench of substitutes.

Jermain Defoe and Theo Walcott are possible options to partner Wayne Rooney up front in the absence of Wednesday starter Daniel Sturridge.

Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell and James Milner are Hodgson's other options that didn't start at Wembley.

"We were rather hoping the injury that kept him out of the game against Ireland would heal itself but unfortunately that is not the case so we'll have the players we stepped off the plane with, who fortunately are all fit," Hodgson said.

"You wouldn't have minded one or two more but we're only allowed to make six substitutions so in actual fact we have the requisite number of players on our bench to do that.

"It just means more players are going to have to take part in the game and it's maybe going to be a little bit harder for some of the starters, who might have to stay on a bit longer.

"I've not spoken to the players about the team yet. We're training this afternoon and I'll announce the team to the players tonight.

"We're limited in that respect but it's good to be limited because I want the players to play for a longer period of time. I don't want one of those games where we are making substitutions every two minutes so we'll put what we think is a strong team on the field and hope the bench is strong enough to cover it.

"I wouldn't have minded (having) one or two more players here. We will have to be well organised defensively. We can't just open up and play Samba football. They are definitely better than us at that.

"We are going to pick a team that will be competitive and hope we can deal with the weather conditions - which aren't favourable at all. We will have to hope we can deal with the conditions and hope that we have enough strength from the bench. I fear the players might run out of legs in this heat."

Bayern Munich duo Dante and Luiz Gustavo are available for Brazil after the Bundesliga club agreed to release them ahead of the German Cup final against Stuttgart.

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar and Chelsea duo David Luiz and Oscar are among the faces who will be very familiar to their opponents.

There is also sure to be a lot of focus on highly-rated striker Neymar, who has recently agreed to join Barcelona from Santos.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015
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Georgia v Malta  
19:15
Denmark v USA  
19:30
Germany v Australia  
19:45
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Nigeria v Bolivia  
15:30
Iran v Chile  
19:15
France v Brazil  
Friday, 27 March 2015
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China v Bahrain  
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