England stars get down to business in training as they prepare to face the boys from Brazil
11:16 GMT, 4 February 2013
14:16 GMT, 4 February 2013
England have begun preparations for Wednesday's illustrious friendly at Wembley with Brazil.
The bad news for manager Roy Hodgson, however, is that only 11 outfield players were available to fully train today.
The withdrawals of the injured Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick and the absence of the unfit Daniel Sturridge had significantly contributed to
the depleted numbers available to Hodgson to train, with others involved yesterday in the
Premier League instead limited to a warm-down session.
Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today
Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper
Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training
Joe Hart and Jack Butland remain the only
senior goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's full squad but with Hart among
those only warming down, Middlesbrough's inexperienced Jason Steele has been added to
the training squad to aid preparations for Wednesday's fixture.
Hodgson is expected to announce further
squad changes today, incidentally, in response to the withdrawals of Carrick and Defoe and because of Sturridge's inability to train.
The forward has discussed his
fitness with the England manager and, though reluctant to do so, is expected to
accept that he will be unable to play any part against Brazil
and could therefore leave the England camp.
Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson
All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s
All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson
Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level
Ashley Cole, however, was among the 11 available to Hodgson today, meaning he remains on course to follow Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard and become the seventh England player to reach 100 caps.
His presence is a real positive for England given the intimidating prospect of facing both Ronaldinho and Neymar, but even for all of the latter's reputation as one of the world's greatest talents, another of Hodgson's defenders, Phil Jagielka, has revealed his international team-mates are yet to truly know what it is they can expect from him.
'I don't know a lot about Neymar,' Jagielka said. 'We don't see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.
Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly
Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion
Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield
'But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.
'They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.'