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

More of the games that matter

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

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

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Liverpool's Europa League exit a boost to top-four chances ahead of Manchester City showdown, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Liverpool v Manchester City and reckons the Reds might find it easier to bounce back.

Arsenal announce £11m profit and £138.8m cash reserve

Arsenal have returned robust financial results, with turnover increased to £148.5m and an overall profit before tax of £11.1m.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal eyes 'luck'

Louis van Gaal claims the most important factor in Manchester United's pursuit of a top-four place is 'luck'.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

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