FA expects record low Wembley attendance for England v Sweden

Wembley Stadium
The Wembley arch replaced the famous twin towers in 2007

The Football Association is expecting England's lowest attendance at Wembley for Tuesday's friendly against Sweden since the stadium was rebuilt in 2007.

Around 50,000 tickets have been sold, nearly 40,000 fewer than for Saturday's 1-0 win against world champions Spain.

The lowest crowd of 57,897 at the new Wembley came against Andorra in June 2009, with the figure affected by a tube strike.

Mark Whittle from the FA said: "Spain was clearly the most attractive match."

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Whittle admitted England matches cannot be moved around the country to try to encourage better attendances, but he still believes there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the crowd figures.

"We did take England on tour when Wembley was being built, and it was successful, but it is not part of the business plan at the moment," he said.

"We need to stage so many England home games at Wembley to pay back the stadium, but it will not be too long before we have done that.

"We still think it will be a good result for us because there will not be too many countries with a higher attendance than we will have at Wembley Stadium [on Tuesday night].

"I can understand why it is not a sell-out because Spain was clearly the most attractive match.

"We had more than 90,000 watch the Spain match, there will be 50,000 for the Sweden game and the Under-21s and Under-19s were sold out, meaning 165,000 fans have seen the England team this week. That's not bad in anybody's book."

The match comes just three days after Frank Lampard scored England's 1,999th goal in the victory over Spain.

Lampard captained England in place of the rested John Terry, who will return to lead the side against Sweden.

Terry, who is facing a Football Association and Metropolitan Police inquiry into claims he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, is one of eight changes to Saturday's line-up that coach Fabio Capello has confirmed he will make.

Striker Daniel Sturridge, a Chelsea team-mate of Terry, will start on the substitute's bench.

The last sub-50,000 crowd to see England at Wembley was the 38,535 that watched a 2-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic in November 1998.

The last time fewer than 50,000 people watched England in a home game was for Steve McClaren's first match as manager when 45,864 saw a 4-0 win against Greece at Old Trafford in August 2006.