England continue to travel the road to Euro 2016 feeling positive and optimistic regarding their chances of making a trip to France a successful one. Roy Hodgson’s men have enjoyed great run of form since the 2014 World Cup and will be eager to pass the test against Socceroos with flying colours.
It’s been a while since last time England had this exciting squad in the national team. Roy Hodgson’s side is filled with young and talented players that have made a huge impact during last season. With Premier League top scorers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy leading the line in attack, England fans are hoping that this will be the year their team can challenge for continental glory. Indeed, the most recent results give them plenty to hope for as England has lost only two of their last 20 games in all competitions. The three Lions have had a perfect Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, while they also continued with impressive performances in friendly matches having beaten the likes of France, Germany and most recently Turkey. Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy scored a goal apiece to earn their team a 2-1 victory on Sunday, which was England’s eighth win in their last nine home matches. Roy Hodgson is facing a difficult task of chopping his squad from 26 to 23 names and forthcoming event will certainly be a great chance to get a clearer picture. Marcus Rashford and Jack Wilshere will be under the spotlight against Socceroos as the Friday fixture will be an opportunity to make their case in front of the coaching staff.
Jamie Vardy is getting married on Wednesday and will miss the Friday’s encounter with Marcus Rashford ready to step in and have his debut performance for England.
Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain sidelined with their respective injuries, while Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling return to contention after missing the Turkey game due to club commitments.
Australia will have a huge mountain to climb at Sunderland on Friday and they are aware of the challenge that lies ahead. The Socceroos may be ranked 40 places below England by FIFA, but their reputation of rising to the occasion when it is least expected is enough of a reason for Three Lions to be wary heading into the game. Australia have lost only two of their last fifteen matches and will be travelling to England on the back of a four-match winning run. Ange Postecoglou’s men have been in excellent scoring form as they have bagged the incredible 19 goals in their last four games while allowing just one in the process. History is also on Australia’s side ahead of the Friday’s clash as the Socceroos emerged triumphant from their last meeting with England. The 3-1 win at Upton Park in 2003 might not be something to go by as it has been 13 years since that last meeting, but Postecoglou’s charges will be keen to repeat the heroic against the much favoured hosts and to have England wait a bit more before recording their first win over Australia since 1991. The upcoming event will be particularly important for Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak who is about to earn his 63rd cap for Australia and there is no doubt he will be particularly motivated to put in a memorable display against the country he is plying his trade in.
Ange Postecoglou is likely to try out as many options as he can in this upcoming fixture and Stefan Mauk and Milos Dejenak could be given their first ever caps for Socceroos against England.
Mathew Spiranovic, Apostolos Giannou, Tim Cahill, Nathan Burns and Trent Sainsbury are all unavailable for selection through club commitments.
Key Factors to Consider
- England have lost only 2 of their last 20 matches
- Three Lions last defeated Australia in 1991
- Australia have scored 19 goals in their last four matches
- Marcus Rashford is in line for his 1st England cap just 3 months after his Man Utd debut
- Roy Hodgson’s men have recorded eight wins in their last 9 matches across competitions
It has been a while since two countries last met of a football pitch and England will do their best to record their first win over Australia since 1991. Roy Hodgson’s charges are highly motivated to continue with strong performances ahead of the Euro 2016 and there is no doubt they will go hard from the off. Socceroos can be a tough nut to crack as they tend to put in inspired displays against world’s bet and we are definitely in for what is going to be an exciting event.