Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck face a crucial six weeks in their bid to secure a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad, according to manager Roy Hodgson.
Both players have struggled with injury problems this season, limiting their opportunities to prove their worth for Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.
Welbeck started Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Germany – in which Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy both scored – and Sturridge will be given a chance to shine when England host Netherlands on Tuesday.
But neither are guaranteed a place on the plane to France and Hodgson is keen to stress that both players must prove they are back to their best before he names his final 23-man squad in May.
“Having returned from such long-term injuries, the next six weeks or so before I have to make a decision are important times for them as well,” Hodgson told a news conference.
“They’ve got to consistently build up their fitness in terms of endurance. Both have come back sharp and that’s very positive, so it’s really just the conditioning, the physical and the endurance side and, of course, playing on a regular basis.
“Not playing and then missing long periods as has been the case, but playing on a regular basis.
“That’s my biggest hope for those two, and it’s great that we’re going to give Daniel a chance to show what he can do again in an England shirt tomorrow.
“He’s always been very keen to get back and show that he deserves to be in an England shirt. What better occasion than a game at Wembley against a team of Holland’s quality with a big crowd watching you?”
James Milner will captain England on Tuesday, while Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater could make his debut with Hodgson set to ring the changes after the win in Berlin.