Denmark v England Team News, Wilshere in the spotlight

Denmark v England Team News, Wilshere in the spotlight

England manager Fabio Capello has chosen Frank Lampard to lead out the England team for Wednesday’s friendly international against Denmark in Copenhagen but the spotlight is set to fall on Arsenal’s young midfielder Jack Wilshere.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Capello said he was satisfied with Lampard’s fitness following his return to the Chelsea side, suggesting he would be fresher than many of the squad who have played for their clubs more than half the season. With Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard unavailable for selection, the England boss was running out of experienced options to skipper the side and turned to Lampard who will be collecting his 83rd cap in Scandanavia.

England’s press are desperate for new blood to replace the ‘Golden Generation’ who have given 10 years of underachievement and disappointment, culminating in a clamour for Capello to rebuild the national side following a dismal 2010 World Cup. Much has been written of the merits of Wilshere who has established himself as a regular in Arsenal’s midfield this season and Capello explained he would start the youngster in a deep lying role after reassurances from Arsene Wenger that the 19-year-old could handle the job despite playing a more advanced position for his club.

Darren Bent will get another chance to impress Capello and is set to start alongside Wayne Rooney up front. The England manager has gone on record saying it was a mistake not to take the prolific striker to South Africa last summer and if Bent can find a way to click with Rooney, could establish himself as a regular in England plans.

Bent scored his first International goal when coming on as a substitute in England’s 3-1 win over Switzerland in the UEFA 2012 qualifier in Basel last September and Bet365 offers odds of 9/4 he can score in his first England start of the season.

Capello will make a late decision on the remainder of the starting eleven, he has been forced to make late call-ups to the squad due to injuries to goalkeeper Ben Foster, striker Peter Crouch and midfielder Steven Gerrard with Gabriel Agbonlahor pulling out due to personal reasons. Robert Green and Carlton Cole have been asked to join the squad and are likely to start on the bench along with the six substitutes Capello anticipates using during the game.

England make the trip to Denmark looking to bounce back from the 2-1 defeat to France at Wembley in November which spoiled the unbeaten run of four games which had raised spirits after the World Cup. But it won’t be forgotten that Denmark are a force to be reckoned with in their own backyard, beaten just once in their last eight home games and with memories of inflicting a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Sven-Goran Erikkson’s England team on their last meeting in 2005.

Online bookmaker Stan James has sensed trouble for England and has stuck its neck out to offer best odds of 13/10 for England to win in Copenhagen.

Morten Olsen can call on a number of Premier League players for his Denmark team, Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), Anders Lindegaard (Man Utd), Lars Jacobsen (West Ham), Daniel Agger (Liverpool) and Christian Poulsen (Liverpool) should play along with former Charlton winger Dennis Rommedahl.

Possible starting lineups:
DENMARK: Lindegaard; Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, S Poulsen; Enevoldsen, Eriksen, C Poulsen, Silberbauer; Rommedahl; Bendtner.
ENGLAND: Hart; Johnson, Dawson, Terry, Cole; Walcott, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner; Bent, Rooney.
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