Cork and Delfouneso start at Deepdale
By Jamie Bradbury
Monday, 28 March, 2011
Stuart Pearce also hands first start to Connor Wickham.
Become a fan of England U21s on Facebook
See England's next home game against Iceland in Preston on 28 March
Tickets are available from Deepdale ticket office right up to kick-off on Monday evening priced £10 for adults and £5 for children
Stuart Pearce has handed Connor Wickham his first start for the Under-21s tonight as they take on Iceland at Deepdale (live on ESPN from 7.45pm).
The Ipswich Town forward has made two appearances at this level and will wear the number nine shirt. Meanwhile, there's also a debut for Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker who will line up alongside West Ham United's James Tomkins, starting his first game since October 2009.
Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand will captain the team in his 12th game at left back and his Chelsea team mate Josh McEachran wins his fourth cap starting in midfield.
Another Chelsea player Jack Cork, who is currently on loan at Preston's rivals Burnley, starts a match for only the second time in his 12 appearances and fellow Turf Moor loanee Nathan Delfouneso also begins that game.
All the players will be looking to impress Pearce with place on the plane to this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship at a premium.
“This game is a good chance to impress the manager," Cork said as he looked ahead to the match. “It’s a big squad which has been picked and there will be a lot of people looking to catch his eye. The competition for places is going to be keen, that’s what is needed."
Cork is also looking forward to a return to Preston where he scored the winner for the Clarets in their Championship encounter a month ago.
“I’ve been on loan to quite a few clubs now, and I can remember playing here for Coventry, Scunthorpe and I think Watford.
“Deepdale is a lovely ground, the new fourth stand has rounded things off very well. I’ve always found it a good place to play football, Preston are a club with loads of history. I’m surprised to see them struggling in the way they are because their squad looks strong.
“When I played here last month for Burnley, it was obviously a good day for me. I scored the winner which was a special moment. Hopefully the Preston fans won’t react badly to me if I play!”
England starting eleven
1 Alex McCarthy, 2 Kyle Naughton, 3 Ryan Bertrand (c), 4 Jack Cork, 5 James Tomkins, 6 Nathan Baker, 7 Marc Albrighton, 8 Josh McEachran, 9 Connor Wickham, 10 Danny Rose, 11 Nathan Delfouneso
12 Tom Cleverley, 13 Scott Loach (GK), 14 Joe Bennett, 15 Scott Sinclair, 16 Jordan Spence, 17 Jordon Mutch, 18 Adam Hammill, 19 Ben Amos (GK)
Referee Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee Milan Kogej and Gregor Rojko (both SVN)
Fourth Official Anthony Taylor (ENG)