Daniel Sturridge is set to get his first England start in more than 18 months as Roy Hodgson’s men look to continue their winning momentum against the Netherlands on Tuesday night at Wembley.
The Liverpool striker, who has been suffering from a serious knee injury in the last two years, has not been part of the England squad for their entire 2016 Euro qualifying campaign. However, with the 26-year-old making his comeback to full fitness, Roy Hodgson is set to give him a start in the England starting XI against the Netherlands, according to the BBC.
According to reports emanating from the English media, Tuesday night’s match could also turn out to be a special occasion for Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who may get his first England cap against the Dutch.
In fact, Hodgson is said to be wanting to wring in the changes in his starting XI for this match, as he had indicated after England’s brilliant comeback win over Germany last Saturday.
“There will be changes, but how wholesale they will be, you will have to wait and see,” said Hodgson to the media.
According to Eurosport however, Hodgson will make 10 changes to his starting XI. The report suggests that Tottenham Hotspur left back Danny Rose is the only player who will retain his place on the pitch after the Germany match, with goalkeeper Fraser Forster also getting a start in goal owing to the injuries suffered by both Joe Hart and Jack Butland.
Furthermore, Leicester City sensation Jamie Vardy is likely start up top against the Netherlands instead of Tottenham Hotspur hitman Harry Kane. Both Vardy and Kane are locked in a fierce battle for the golden boot award in the Premier League at the moment, with the Tottenham frontman currently edging the Leicester striker by two goals.
Lastly, Liverpool midfielder James Milner is expected to be given the armband on Tuesday night by Hodgson for the first time in his English career.
Hodgson expected to shuffle his pack against the Dutch
With the current crop of English talent at his disposal, Hodgson has the option of altering his formation when his side take on the Dutch at Wembley on Tuesday. The most obvious formation that the 68-year-old could go with is the 4-2-3-1, with Vardy and Sturridge switching places between the wing and the striker positions.
A 4-3-3 could also be possible, with Barkley dropping into central midfield, and Drinkwater operating as the deep lying midfielder. The top three — Theo Walcott, Vardy, and Sturridge all have the capability to play either on the wing or as a striker.
Yet another formation that could be possible is the 4-4-2, with both Sturridge and Vardy operating as the two strikers. The Leicester City striker has excelled at Leicester City in Claudio Ranieri’s 4-4-2 formation, partnering up with Shinji Okazaki to wreak havoc all season long.