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Cole wins 100th cap against Brazil

Ashley Cole will win his 100th international cap when he starts against Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday.

The Chelsea defender, who made his debut in 2001, will mark a century of appearances in the friendly, England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Though the 32-year-old will feature in the starting XI, Hodgson said he will not take the captain’s armband from Steven Gerrard for the game.

Hodgson defended the controversial full-back, adding: “If you are an England fan and don’t respect and love someone for what he’s done, that’s your problem,” before insisting that supporters should give Cole the ‘credit and admiration he deserves’.

The 65-year-old also described the left-back as the ‘most consistent player over last 10-12 years in our team. He deserves to celebrate that.”

Hodgson also hailed Cole’s understudy, Everton star Leighton Baines, saying: “Ashley has greater competition than he’s ever had … certainly Leighton has matured enormously as an international player.”

Meanwhile, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari he will not risk the well-being of David Luiz, with the defender set for a late fitness test.

The 25-year-old has missed Chelsea’s last three matches with a calf injury which he picked up in the Capital One Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Swansea City.

And Scolari has confirmed that he will not throw the centre-back in if he is unsure about his fitness.

“Regarding David Luiz, he will (have to) pass another exam with our physios, then we will decide whether he will play or not,” Scolari said.

“We will not take any risks with him.”

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez’s injury concerns have mounted over the international break, with Petr Cech and Demba Ba forced to pull out of the Czech Republic and Senegal squads respectively.

Tue 5 February, 2013
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