England Preview v Norway
The dust has now settled on England's world cup disappointment, the crowds are still not amused though it seems with Wembley set for its lowest attendance for an England game.
35,000-40,000 tops are expected tonight as we play Norway, kick-off at 8pm.
England will tonight be led for the first time, as the 'official captain', by Wayne Rooney, obviously this will be a proud moment for the Man United man - can the captaincy finally bring the best out of him?
I have my reservations as I always thought the captain had to be someone that commanded respect from those around him, quite how much respect the fans and his fellow teammates have - all in all - for him is debatable, but hey ho what do I know...
None of the uncapped players, Calum Chambers, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph, will start but most could get on from the bench - Jack Colback though will miss his chance for a first cap as a 'minor injury' rules him out.
Ben Foster is back with West Brom as a matter of 'precautionary' really due to a training ground thumb injury with Arsenal's deadline day signing Danny Welbeck is also a doubt. A 'knock' in training is likely to see him sit this one out ahead of the weekend qualifier with Switzerland but Gary Cahill, I think he would have been my captain, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned after missing training earlier in the week and are confirmed starters.
John Stones is also a confirmed starter, he will partner Cahill to win his latest cap and make his full international debut
The line up, as said already confirmed, is it... Joe Hart, Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney.
England, down to a more realistic place probably, are ranked at 20 at the moment, still some 33 places higher than Norway, who will provide decent opposition but you would hope can be beaten as we look to rebuild after the disappointing, but lets face it not unexpected, world cup...
Vital England on:
Vital England on: