England v Italy: Roy Hodgson hoping youngsters excite

Roy Hodgson


Wankdorf Stadium, Berne
Wednesday, 15 August
2000 BST
Listen on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Roy Hodgson says he will use England's friendly against Italy to look at younger players he hopes can help England qualify for the next World Cup.

The England manager has opted to omit several senior players from his squad for the match in Berne on Wednesday.

Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Wayne Rooney are among those rested.

"I'm hoping to see a few things that excite me and give me hope that we can put a squad together during the next couple of years," Hodgson said.

The Italian squad also has an experimental look, with coach Cesare Prandelli selecting eight uncapped players.

"We're both trying to look at some younger players on the periphery who could be very useful for us during the next couple of years," Hodgson added.

The England manager would not be drawn on which goalkeeper will start the game following Joe Hart's withdrawal with a back injury.

Norwich City's John Ruddy and Birmingham City's Jack Butland are vying for a first cap, but neither has been told who will be playing as yet.

"I haven't even given them an indication of who is playing, unless they try to read my mind during the training sessions and see how people line up there," Hodgson said.

"As far as Jack and John, they're pretty much neck and neck for a place in the team and I'm still to decide whether I just choose one or whether possibly we have enough substitutes to enable me to give each of them a game."

Frank Lampard will captain the side after returning from the thigh injury that kept him out of Euro 2012.

"I think it's a very exciting squad," Lampard said. "The manager has picked a very intelligent squad in the way he has rested players who generally play 60 games a season.

"He's brought in young players to give them a feel of the group, travelling, training and possibly playing with England. It should be a great experience and I'm looking forward to playing."

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Forwards: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur).

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