Date: September 3, 2014
Venue: Wembley, London, England
Kick-off time: 20:00 BST
England play their first international friendly against Norway after their disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign. Lot of eyes will be on manager, Roy Hodgson who has vowed to use the exciting youth talent more in the future.
England have been the perennial under achievers on the big stage. International friendlies will give a good chance for Hodgson to try new things and give a chance to players who have been on the fringes.
With England’s golden generation retired, the Wilsheres and the Sturridges take over the mantle. The biggest break will be for Arsenal’s young centre back, Calum Chambers whose meteoric rise has surprised many.
Norway have been a defensive setup, traditionally. Against England, they will surely look to frustrate the English attackers and England will have a hard time picking out the defence.
Norway’s manager, Per-Matthias Hogmo has called up Ghanian born Alexander Tettey to his squad while handing debut to defender Per Egil Flo. While 15 year old midfield prodigy, Martin Odegaard has not been called up after his debut against UAE on 27th August, 2014
England: Wayne Rooney
Being handed over the England captaincy will be a huge honour for Rooney. Being the most experienced player after Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have retired, Rooney has a task to rally the players behind and motivate them.
It will be interesting to see where he plays – as a pure centre forward or as a no.10.
Norway: Harvard Nordtveit
The Borrusia Monchengladbach defender has been a defensive mainstay for a few years now for Monchengladbach. His continued presence for Norway in the past year has seen him grow rapidly.
A classy defender, Nordtveit has an eye for pass and is good on the ball. Against England, he has a tough task at hand considering the firepower England has in Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
England haven’t had the best of times in international football but the last thing you would want to do is to spur them on. Vegard Forren has called England captain Wayne Rooney ‘a bit chubby’ and this could just be the motivation the new English captain needs to get going.
Bet365 are offering 1.44 for an England win which could shorten even further in the lead-up to this game. With a team that has such an attacking line-up, expect a good number of goals to be scored in this one as well and more than 2.5 goals is a great price at 1.95.