Ox training boost for England

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain trained as England’s World Cup squad were put through their paces in Rio de Janeiro in their first full training session ahead of the opening Group D game against Italy on Saturday evening.

Last Updated: 10/06/14 at 08:56 Post Comment

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Trains during an England session at the Urca military b

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Trains during an England session at the Urca military b

Manager Roy Hodgson has a number of decisions to make regarding his team selection for the match in Manaus, as well as checking out the fitness of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Steven Gerrard.

Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the manager a boost by doing some light training, having suffered a knee injury during last week’s friendly in Miami against Ecuador; the Arsenal winger, with his knee in a brace, was closely monitored by England fitness coach Tony Strudwick.

Gerrard trained away from the squad and after some shuttle runs, the England captain - who was substituted at half-time of Saturday's 0-0 draw with Honduras - left the session early as a precaution.

In addition, Hodgson must decide in what position to employ Wayne Rooney and chief football reporter for Sky Sports News, Nick Collins, who was present when the players arrived at the military training camp, says leaving Rooney out is unthinkable.

He said: ““He will start. I don’t think there is any question of that. The big decision is whether he will play in his favourite position, in the centre behind Daniel Sturridge, or wide out left where he played against Ecuador last week.

"Out-left he was pretty effective and provided Roy with food for thought."

The Sky reporter also said it was unlikely Ross Barkley would start against Italy, despite calls from England fans for the Everton starlet to play.

Collins went on: “Barkley made a tremendous impression against Ecuador – his first start for England – and helped to set up the second goal for Rickie Lambert.

“At 20 he is an exciting talent but I don’t think he will start against Italy but could be an impact substitute – I would not be surprised if he is one of England’s three substitutes on Saturday.

“He almost missed the team bus this morning, last man on it by all accounts when they left the hotel but I think Hodgson will go for Danny Welbeck instead.

“Welbeck had a really good game against Honduras on Saturday, came close to scoring, he tracks back well, has never let England down and played well in the Euros (2012).

“Hodgson likes him and three into two won’t go: You've got Rooney, Welbeck and Barkley fighting over two places.”

This is the second time England have been at this venue, having already trained at the military base on a previous trip to Brazil in 2013.

According to Collins: “It’s familiar territory. They were at this truly spectacular setting a year ago when preparing for a game against the host nation at the Maracana.

“It’s a great setting. On one side you’ve got the ocean, on the other side you have the spectacular Sugarloaf Mountain – with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s.”

A strong Italian defence awaits England in Manaus on Saturday, but Hodgson is sure his team will have what it takes to break Cesare Prandelli's men down.

"We didn't score against Honduras but we scored five goals in the games against Peru and Ecuador, so I think it would be very harsh to start casting aspersions," the England manager said.

"Daniel Sturridge is an absolute out-and-out goalscorer and we think Rickie Lambert is too.

"Of course we have got the Rooneys, Welbecks and Gerrards and Lampards, so I don't think we're short of firepower."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

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

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

ergie, aren't you supposed to make a beep beep noise when backing up like that?

simonthfc
Ferguson: Club made Moyes decision

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

Footer 365

Champions League: Real Madrid ease past Liverpool with 3-0 win at Anfield

Real Madrid produced a first-half masterclass as they overpowered Liverpool 3-0 in the Champions League at Anfield.

Champions League: Late goals give Arsenal 2-1 victory at Anderlecht

Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to come from behind and secure a 2-1 Champions League win at Anderlecht.

Massimo Cellino defends Giuseppe Bellusci after Cameron Jerome's racism claim

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has defended Giuseppe Bellusci after the defender was accused of making a racist comment.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property