Defensive injuries ensured there would be changes to the side that beat Moldova 5-0 last time out, but Hodgson's selection also reflects the impending trip to Group A leaders Montenegro.
Joleon Lescott is one of four players just a booking away from missing Tuesday's clash in Podgorica but the depleted ranks mean he partners Chris Smalling at centre-back.
Jermain Defoe joins Wayne Rooney in attack, despite also being a caution from suspension, but the two other vulnerable players - James Milner and Ashley Cole - sit out.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ashley Young provide width in a 4-4-2 formation against a San Marino side who, with just one victory in their history, will aim to simply keep the score down.
Theo Walcott will not be on the bench after returning home with a groin injury and the Arsenal forward has also been ruled out of Tuesday's game against Montenegro.
England team: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Lescott, Baines, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lampard, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, Defoe.