Sven-Goran Eriksson is this morning ironing out details of the Three Lions squad to tour the United States.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is this morning ironing out details of the Three Lions squad to tour the United States and will name his squad exclusively on TheFA.com at noon.
England head for America later this month, playing games against the USA on 28 May in Chicago and Colombia on 31 May in New Jersey.
It promises to be a feast of football and Eriksson is hoping several players will stake a claim to be included in the crucial World Cup qualifiers later in the year.
England will be without Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, who has a knee injury, and Wayne Rooney, who is being rested.
Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard will also be missing because they play in the Champions League final on 25 May. But their absence gives other players a chance to shine and Head Coach Eriksson is relishing the opportunity to try out some new ideas.
He explained: "It's a pity that people are missing but it gives me possibilities to see other players, maybe from the start.
"We will be without a few players because Rio has a knee problem. He's going to see a specialist after the end of the league season. Rooney is tired, he has enough football this season.
"He's not exhausted but he has played a lot of football for club and country. He needs to rest. If that makes him even better next summer, I'm okay with that!
"Gerrard and Carragher are in the Champions League final and John Terry, Frank Lampard and Paul Robinson are injured."
Rooney’s absence from the squad doesn’t mean he will not be a key part of England’s World Cup campaign, however.
Eriksson believes his enthusiasm knows no bounds - but sometimes he has to hold the teenager back.
He said: "The quality of Rooney is incredible. In one more year, he should be even better than now. He has everything.
"He is always happy around the squad, always works hard and loves to play football. After training sessions, you have to hide the ball. Otherwise he would never leave the pitch!"
England captain David Beckham and striker Michael Owen will miss the first match of the tour because Real Madrid's season does not finish in time, but they will be available to face Colombia - as will Owen Hargreaves who has to play in a cup final first for Bayern Munich.
The rest of the squad will head for America on 24 May, returning home straight after the final game. England will wear their 'home' white kit in both matches.
It promises to be an exciting trip and Eriksson will name his full squad at noon today. You can read his analysis this afternoon on TheFA.com.