Image: Football Soccer – England Press Conference – Berlin Marriott Hotel, Berlin, Germany – 25/3/16 England’s Gary Cahill during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic
BERLIN (Reuters) – Defender Gary Cahill is to captain England in Saturday’s friendly against Germany in the absence of injured skipper Wayne Rooney while Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose makes his debut.
Four Spurs players will face the Germans with Rose’s team mates Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier also named by manager Roy Hodgson on Friday.
Cahill, 30, leads his country for the second time. The Chelsea centre back was also captain for the 2-0 win over Estonia in the final qualifier for Euro 2016 in October.
Manchester United forward Rooney, England’s record goalscorer, has been out since Feb. 13 with a knee ligament injury and faces a race against time to get fit for the European Championship finals in France in June.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart and winger Raheem Sterling will also miss Saturday’s match and Tuesday’s home friendly against Netherlands through injury.
Jack Butland is to start in goal in Berlin with Fraser Forster likely to play against the Dutch.
The inclusion of the Spurs quartet comes on the back of their title-chasing team’s sparkling Premier League form, with Alli pulling the strings in midfield and Kane banging in the goals that have made him the division’s top scorer with 21.
“I’m impressed with the way Dele has been all season,” said Hodgson. “Whenever you have a player who is that young, and you recognise the talent despite the fact he is only 19, it is a bold decision to put him in the squad and play him.
“But myself, (assistant coaches) Gary Neville and Ray Lewington are all convinced he has the capacity and ability to play so we took the chance.
“He could do anything in that midfield position. He could be box-to-box, a number 10 or a number six. He has genuine all-round ability,” Hodgson was quoted as saying by Brit’sh media.
After facing the Germans, with both teams wearing black armbands in memory of Netherlands great Johan Cruyff who died on Thursday, and the Dutch, England have friendlies against Turkey, Australia and Portugal before they leave for Euro 2016.
“We have three more games before the final squad is selected and it is by no means a be-all and end-all selection but we take the games very seriously and I shall learn some very important lessons, for sure,” said Hodgson.
Team: Jack Butland; Nathaniel Clyne, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Danny Rose; Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana; Harry Kane, Danny Welbeck.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Tony Jimenez)
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