With hours to go until the big kick-off, TheFA.com brings you all the latest new
With hours to go until the big kick-off, TheFA.com brings you all the latest news from inside the England camp...
Sven and the players are certainly ready for action...if yesterday's training session is anything to go by.
Most powerful shot of the day goes to Frank Lampard - by a mile. Sven has a training routine where he asks Brian Kidd to lay the ball off to an onrushing player to strike at goal. Lampard's effort yesterday, which careered in off the underside of the crossbar was travelling almost too quick for the eye to follow. The Chelsea man has admitted that he's currently in the form of his life and his finishing was absolutely exemplary yesterday. On this evidence, his first ever England goal cannot be too far away.
Indeed, the whole of the England midfield looks to be full of goals. Steven Gerrard is injury-free and in prime condition at the moment and we all know that when he strikes a ball as he can there are few goalkeepers in the world that can keep him out.
And then there is Paul Scholes. True, he hasn't exactly had his scoring boots on for England of late, but you only have to listen to Michael Owen to understand what he adds to the team.
"It's a brilliant feeling to have Paul Scholes close to you on a football pitch. You immediately feel as though you're on the same wavelength as him," says the man who will captain England tonight of the little midfield magician.
If Sven opts for a central three of Lampard, Scholes and Gerrard, then it looks to be a straight choice between Phil Neville and Owen Hargreaves for that anchor-man role.
Hargreaves could certainly do the job to an excellent level. The young man who is one of the politest members of the England squad is full of confidence now having just won the domestic double with Bayern Munich. He was also one of the best performers in training yesterday.
Time and time again he found the top left hand corner with sumptuous curling shots. The way he angles his body and whips his foot around the ball is reminiscent of David Beckham's technique.
If the power of Frank Lampard's shooting took the breath away, it was the guile of Hargreaves' efforts that will have also caught the coaches' eye. Though he can play anywhere across the midfield, it is the deep-lying central role that Hargreaves yearns to make his own. He would relish the chance to demonstrate his credentials international stage.
Don't be surprised though if Sven opts to start with Phil Neville as his anchor-man. Though he is very modest about his own performance against Patrick Vieira at Old Trafford earlier this season, ("I'm a bit embarrassed about the publicity I received"), Neville made a lot of people sit up and take notice that day.
Having proven that he can compete with the best in the world at club level, Sven is eager to find out if Neville can repeat the dose for England.
At the back Upson and Southgate look strong contenders to start, flanked by the returning Ashley Cole and Leeds United's Danny Mills.
Sven will resist the urge to pick Paul Robinson at right back despite the 'keeper's fleeting but impressive performances there at times during the week! David James will look to further press his claims to be England's first choice goalkeeper.
At the other end, it is a question of who partners Michael Owen. Sven has already revealed that both Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney will play some part. With the game being played in Leicester, home-town hero Heskey might just get the nod to start.
Emile and quite a few of the boys watched last night's Under-21 game on Sky Sports and they will have got a fair idea of what to expect tonight. Quick, technical able players proliferate the Serbia and Montenegro side - Sven's men will need to be on their guard.
Watching last night's game will also have brought back a few memories for Frank Lampard and Emile Heskey. Both were part of a really strong Under-21 side that beat Yugoslavia 3-0 in a qualification match in Barcelona three years ago. Frank scored while Emile was the man of the match.
What price a repeat performance this evening?
From Daniel Freedman at the England Team Base in Ashby de la Zouch
England v Serbia & Montenegro: Match Centre