Roy Hodgson excited by the prospect of taking his squad into game with Brazil
Roy Hodgson says he can’t wait to add an England v Brazil fixture to his CV, as the Three Lions prepare for next Wednesday’s game.
The England Manager named a 24-man squad for the fixture on Thursday, as The FA’s 150th anniversary year gets underway at Wembley before a return match takes place in Rio in June.
And Hodgson is excited at the prospect of taking on the five-time World Cup winners and pitting his wits against old friend Luiz Felipe Scolari.
He said: “It is a game I am really looking forward to. It is always a momentous occasion when you play Brazil.
“To play them twice in one year is exceptional. It is a great thing to have on your CV.”
The likes of Neymar, Thiago Silva and Hulk have all been selected in the Brazil squad, so Hodgson knows the Three Lions will be tested to the limit.
And for all of the household names in Scolari’s squad, Hodgson knows there will be a few lesser known stars for England players and fans alike to keep an eye on.
“There are six who play in Brazil and a couple of others who aren't that well known in England,” he added.
“It is Scolari's first match in charge and Brazil don't like losing matches.
“Looking at their last five or six matches, it is quite frightening how well they have done. They will be out to impress their new management team.”
Hodgson has sprung few surprises with his squad selection for the game, with two important qualifiers in San Marino and Montenegro to follow in March.
And he has revealed that liaison with Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has seen some of the squad’s younger players joining up with the Under-21 group ahead of their game with Sweden in Walsall.
With the European Under-21 Championship Finals taking place in Israel and the U20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, Hodgson believes this will be the best thing for their development.
“We have a very important tournament coming up and if we get all our best players together I believe we have a very good chance of doing well,” he explained.
“I have agreed with Stuart that he gets a chance to work with these players - Shelvey, Jones, Zaha, Sterling and Henderson.
“I have ignored them on this occasion but they are still part of my thinking.
“We have talked about the importance of the Under-21s and U20s next summer. In the past, the Under-21s have not been able to maximise their potential because a lot of the best players have not been available.
“I am anxious this year that some of the talented players who are in or on the verge of the first team squad get a chance to get some tournament experience so I have deliberately ignored the possibilities of four or five players.”