Young Lions to get World Cup chance against Costa Rica

Monday 23 Jun 2014
Roy Hodgson has named his starting XI to face Costa Rica

Roy Hodgson will unleash England’s youngsters as he attempts to present a glimpse of the future in the World Cup match against Costa Rica.

With the Three Lions’ elimination from the tournament already confirmed, manager Hodgson promised to make changes to his team for his side’s final Group D game.

And the England boss revealed his starting XI for Tuesday’s showdown 24 hours in advance, with only Daniel Sturridge and Gary Cahill keeping their places from the team that lost 2-1 to Uruguay last week.

Costa Rica v England

FIFA World Cup 2014
5pm BST, Tuesday 24 June
Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
Live on ITV1

Hodgson said: "Ben Foster will play in goal, the right-back will be Phil Jones. Gary Cahill will play centre-half alongside Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw will play left-back.

"In midfield we will have [James] Milner, [Frank] Lampard, [Jack] Wilshere, [Ross] Barkley, [Adam] Lallana and Sturridge will play up front."

It means Barkley and Wilshere will start a senior England match together for the first time and Hodgson is eager to see how the pair combine on the world stage.

He said: "I'm looking for them to show their talent. Both of them are very good passers of the ball, very good at running with the ball.

"Both, for young players, have good vision for the game. That will improve the more games they play, but they're well advanced for their age. This is a chance for them to show they are good players.

"They have an opportunity to play from the start and together in a game with other young players around them. They can show the faith and hope we have that those boys are ready to make their mark.

"This could be the first moment they give us an inkling that we are on the right track."

However, despite the alterations to his starting line-up, Hodgson is adamant he has not named his team just to give players a run out and is confident England can end their campaign on a positive note.

He added: "With a very different team and a lot of players who haven't played in the tournament so far, I wanted everyone to go home from this tournament - or at least as many as possible - having taken part and played in a game, not just training.

"We're very conscious of the fact that our fans are as disappointed and devastated as we are, but they are still here supporting us.

"We came into the hotel and received a lot of sympathy, kind words from them and we really want to make certain tomorrow night that they see something tomorrow that they can take some encouragement from.

"And most importantly of all, it's a top-class international on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup, so anything else than taking the game very seriously and trying to win the game in its own right would be out of the question."

Lampard will wear the armband against the Central Americans in what may well be the last of 106 caps for England.

The same goes for captain Steven Gerrard, who Hodgson asked to stay on as player and skipper after the World Cup.

Asked if he had the same conversation with the former Chelsea midfielder, Hodgson said: "With regard to Frank Lampard, he's 36.

"We don't know as yet what his next destination is. I would be more than happy if Frank remains available for selection because you never know when you need players.

“With a quality player like him, I am sure he could serve the country well even in the future, but I haven't had that conversation with him as such as yet.

"I have talked to him more about his future plans and I'm pretty sure that, if we said to him the chances are you might not feature quite so much but please don't retire, please be available, well I think Frank is one of those guys who would say 'you can always count on me if you need me'."

Hodgson also confirmed Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would play no part in tomorrow's match after suffering a knee injury on his return to full training yesterday.

He said: "Alex took part in a full session yesterday, but twisted his knee which caused him pain. So he is out of the question."

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor in Belo Horizonte