Striker Marcus Rashford will make his full England debut against Australia on Friday if Daniel Sturridge fails to shake off a calf injury.
The 18-year-old was rewarded for his breakthrough season with a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s provisional Euro 2016 squad, but was absent for last weekend’s victory over Turkey as he won the FA Cup final with Manchester United.
Rashford now looks certain to make his international bow at the Stadium of Light and, should Sturridge not recover in time, it will be from the start.
“He [Sturridge] has had a calf strain since he joined up with us,” Hodgson, who will rest Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, said of the Liverpool striker.
“We’ve been hoping it will get better, we shall see tomorrow [Friday] morning whether there has been any improvement.
“We’re waiting on him and I can’t give you any more information than that. We’ll see and if he reports fit, I’d want him to play in the game and if he isn’t fit he won’t be able to.
“If Sturridge isn’t fit then I think you’ll all work out he [Rashford] is going to start the game. I’m happy with that, I’m more than content he can handle the situation.
“It doesn’t take a lot of detective work to work that out, with me wanting to rest Vardy and Kane. There was no doubt that my original intention was to choose between Sturridge, Rashford and possibly one other.
“With those two out, it’s pretty obvious Rashford is going to play a serious part in the game.”
Wayne Rooney will not start while Fraser Forster is given his chance in goal and Gary Cahill misses out with a hip injury.
Fabian Delph (groin) will not be considered for Hodgson’s final 23-man squad unless injuries necessitate his inclusion.