Sturridge to start against Holland later tonight

Tuesday 29th March , 2016 8:25 am
Sturridge has not played for England since starting the home friendly against Norway in September 2014
Sturridge has not played for England since starting the home friendly against Norway in September 2014

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will make his first England start in 18 months when they host the Netherlands in Tuesday’s Wembley friendly.

The 26-year-old missed the entire Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with injury.

“No-one doubts his quality. His goalscoring record is unbelievable,” said his Reds team-mate James Milner, who will captain England on Tuesday.

Roy Hodgson is set to make changes from Saturday’s 3-2 win in Germany, with keeper Fraser Forster certain to start.

The Three Lions manager, 68, refused to confirm whether Danny Drinkwater would start, saying the Leicester midfielder “might” make his debut.

“There will be changes, but how wholesale they will be, you will have to wait and see,” he added.

Meanwhile, Spurs keeper Michel Vorm and Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel have been added to the Dutch squad.

The Dutch, who finished third at the 2014 World Cup, have not qualified for this summer’s Euro 2016 finals in France.

‘England must build on Germany win’

England go into the friendly against Danny Blind’s side in buoyant mood after fighting back from 2-0 down to beat world champions Germany in Berlin.

But both Hodgson and Milner insist the squad are looking forward as they continue to prepare for Euro 2016.

“We should be rightly proud of the win but that moment of satisfaction has now passed,” said the manager.

James Milner to captain England against the Netherlands

Hodgson only confirmed during his news conference on Monday that skipper Milner and striker Sturridge will start

“The fact the Netherlands have suffered a lean period doesn’t alter the fact they have very good players and are a very good team.

“After the Germany game we don’t want a game that doesn’t test us.

“I want these games to show that we have players capable of doing what we want them to do.”

Milner added: “If we don’t perform well then everybody will forget about the Germany win and that feel-good factor and momentum will be lost.”

Can England win Euro 2016?

It was a question put to Hodgson during his pre-match news conference on Monday – and one he was not keen on answering.

The England manager would not say how far he thinks his team can go in France, but admitted he is excited about their potential after back-to-back wins against France and Germany – two of the Euro 2016 favourites.

“We don’t really know how the players going to perform in tournament conditions against these much more experienced teams,” he said.

“Germany have already got experience of winning tournaments and reaching semi-finals, and France are the home nation, so the question still remains an impossible one to answer.

“I can only be boring and cliche-ridden in saying that I believe in the team. Absolutely.

“I believe we are going to be ready and I believe the players will go into games believing they can win them.

“But for me to say this is what we’re going to do would be foolhardy and dishonest because I don’t know.”

‘Sturridge needs to play regularly’

Hodgson’s attacking options have been boosted by the return of Sturridge – who has only won 16 caps – and Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck from long injury lay-offs.
But the England manager says the pair must both prove their fitness before he names his Euro 2016 squad in May.

“The next six weeks before I name my final squad is very important for them,” he said.

“Playing on a regular basis is my biggest hope for these two players.”

Captain Milner ‘honoured’ to lead England

Liverpool midfielder Milner says leading his country for the first time “means everything” to him.

The 30-year-old Yorkshireman, who has won 57 caps, added: “Growing up, you’re desperate to put on that England shirt. You’re scoring goals for England in your back garden.

“So to get the chance to lead your country out is a massive honour and something you’ll never forget.”

James Milner to captain England against the Netherlands

Milner made his England debut against the Dutch in August 2009 (Image credit: AP)

Tribute planned for Dutch great Cruyff

The Netherlands are also playing their second game of the international break, having lost 3-2 against France in an Amsterdam friendly overshadowed by the death of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.

The match was stopped in the 14th minute to remember the former Barcelona and Ajax player and coach, who died from cancer last Thursday, and further tributes are planned at Wembley.

England fans will be asked to take part in a minute’s applause after 14 minutes, when an image of Cruyff – who was synonymous with the shirt number – will appear on big screens.

England will also wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence to mark the Brussels terror attacks.

Stats of the day

  • England have not won any of their last six meetings with the Netherlands, drawing four and losing two
  • The Netherlands have lost only one of their last 12 meetings with England, winning four and drawing seven
  • The Three Lions have not won any of the previous five home games against the Netherlands, with their 4-1 victory in Euro 96 counting as a neutral venue
  • In the only other meeting between England and the Netherlands at the new Wembley, Bert van Marwijk’s side ran out 3-2 winners in February 2012 thanks to a brace from Arjen Robben
  • Danny Welbeck has scored four goals in his last three games for England at Wembley
  • Arjen Robben is one of three non-English players to score for both club and country at the new Wembley (alongside Per Mertesacker and Alexis Sanchez)




Source: BBC