Home SOCCER Page 3

SOCCER

The Ox pleased to be back

After a difficult summer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is hoping to put the World Cup behind him as England embark on a new campaign with France 2016 their goal.

The Arsenal forward was struck down by injury against Ecuador in Miami on the eve of the the Three Lions' trip to Brazil, which meant he missed all three games in South America.

He remained with the squad with hopes of playing during the latter part of the competition, but with England departing at the group stage, it wasn't meant to be for the 21-year-old, who struck a glorious goal on England's visit to Rio 12 months earlier.

Switzerland v England

European Qualifier, Group E
7.45pm BST, Monday 8 September 2014
St Jakob Park, Basel
Watch live on ITV

However, though he didn't kick a ball at the World Cup, he says the experience makes him even more hungry going into the Euro 2016 qualifiers after his return to the side in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Norway at Wembley.

"First and foremost it was nice to have the chance to be a part of the squad again," Chamberlain told TheFA.com shortly after England arrived in Basel ahead of their opening Euro qualifier against Switzerland. 

"Wednesday was good to be back in an England shirt and we look forward to hopefully another successful qualification campaign.

"It was a big disappointment not to play in the World Cup. The World Cup in general was a big disappointment. It wasn't just for me personally, the whole team was gutted after being knocked out in the group stage.

"Being there and experiencing our feelings of hope before it started, then for it to come crushing down in two games makes you want to be a part of the next campaign. The Euros are where we can try and put things right." 

He continued: "Any experience is always good to have and is all stuff you can take forward. Last season wasn't a good one for me for injury, but now that I am fit it makes you want to work hard to stay fit and you appreciate the opportunity to contribute and play football even more. 

"I enjoy being around the England camp - last time I was away was in a different situation, but I still felt part of the group and part of the plans to progress in the World Cup.

"I was hoping to play a part of it, but it wasn't to be."

England are preparing for their opening game of the qualifying campaign against the Swiss, and Chamberlain knows that it will be one of the toughest trips on the road to France.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox in training with England at SGP

While Norway on Wednesday provided a tricky obstacle as they sat back and defended for much of the game, Switzerland - who reached the last 16 of the World Cup this summer where they lost to Finalists Argentina in extra-time - will be much more offensive.

Chamberlain says the Three Lions will need to adapt their game, while maintaining the principles laid down since Hodgson took charge of the team in 2012.

"Switzerland will be a different outfit compared to what Norway brought to the table, but we'll have to adapt to that," he said. 

"The manager and coaching staff will have analysed how Switzerland play and we'll approach the game differently to how we did on Wednesday.

"But the key for us is that we keep to the simple principles that the manager has been drumming into this week and the last two years. 

"Switzerland are a very good side, they have lots of quality and I'm sure they'll come out at us a lot more knowing there will be times in the game they will have more possession." 

He added: "When we get on the ball we need to play football, too, so I think it will be two good sides looking to play expansive football. 

"It should be good to watch and hopefully it will be a good game for us if we get the result we are hoping for."

Cowes Sport up for The Cup

Cowes Sport captain Craig Insley hopes Team Solent are the latest club to come down with a spot of sea sickness when the two sides meet in The FA Cup.

The Yachtsmen are one of only a handful of non-League sides from the Isle of Wight and will have home advantage on Saturday afternoon as they host Team Solent in the Extra Preliminary Round.

There are not many semi-professional clubs who will be used to a game that involves travelling by boat, and Insley believes that can often tip the scales in his Cowes’ favour.

Cowes Sport v Team Solent

The FA Cup
Extra Preliminary Round
3pm, Saturday 16 August
Westwood Park, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Winners receive £1500

"It is much better to play at home, we are used to travelling away as we do it every week. But for people coming over, they’re not," he told TheFA.com.

"People might get a bit nauseous coming across on the old boat, they probably think it’s a day out or something.

"When they get here it is lovely. It is actually quite nice for the away teams to get here and play on our nice pitch, but the travelling can take it out of them for us."

The four-hour round trip facing Solent only adds to their mounting woes, after they suffered a crushing 8-2 opening day home league defeat last week.

Insley was in confident mood ahead of their FA Cup clash and believes everything is in place to overcome their league rivals once more, but remained level headed about their chances in English football's famous old cup competition.

"Realistically we will be happy to get past the first few rounds, it really helps us out with the money being in The FA Cup," admitted Insley.

"The further you progress, the better the teams you play and the more money you make.

"We are favourites for the league. Every year our expectations are getting bigger in the team, we have obviously played them [Team Solent] in the league and battered them a couple of times as well, and that’s when they had a much better side.

"We are going into this tie much more confident and should turn them over quite comfortably. But on the day we will see what happens, so you never know."

Premier League match previews

Looking ahead to Saturday's Premier League matches...

arsenal-man-city

Saturday 13th September:

Arsenal v Man City: 12:45

Arsenal welcome Premier League champions Man City to the Emirates on Saturday, and will be very much hoping to win at home after only one league victory in their first three games of the season.

England striker Danny Welbeck is set to make his Arsenal debut at the Emirates after his arrival from Manchester United for £16million on deadline day. He will be hoping to score on his debut after his two goals to secure England’s first win in the Euro 2016 Group Stage. Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal will hope to be cleared to play the game after picking up an injury in Wales’ match against Andorra, while Serge Gnabry and Olivier Giroud will miss out.

For Manchester City, Pablo Zabaleta is all but ready to return after a knock in the international break, but Bacary Sagna will hope to be selected at right-back against his former club.

Forward Stevan Jovetic is a doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury while away with Montenegro. This could cause a problem for City. They may have a number of strikers, but they are a team used to playing two up front, and with Negredo out on loan, Jovetic injured, Aguero with low fitness after the World Cup and Dzeko not being the most prolific goal-scorer, they could struggle against Arsenal.

Chelsea v Swansea 15:00 

The two sides who are yet to drop a single point between them will face off at Stamford Bridge. Both teams have also won an award each: Chelsea’s Diego Costa, who is a doubt for this game after picking up an injury with Spain, earned Player of the Month for August after scoring 4 goals in his first 3 games, while Swansea City boss Gary Monk, who only retired as a Swansea player this year, was deservedly given Manager of the Month for August.

But coach Jose Mourinho has other options if Costa cannot play, with new signing Loic Remy from QPR yet to make his debut and Didier Drogba, who is yet to start since his return to Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard will undergo a late fitness test before the game, as will Wilfried Bony of Swansea, who enjoyed a very impressive first season with the club, which brought interest from several clubs including Tottenham and Liverpool.

Crystal Palace v Burnley 15:00

The Premier League’s bottom two face off at Selhurst Park, with Neil Warnock in charge of Palace for his first home game since his return to the Eagles.

Wilfried Zaha, who scored on Match Day 3, and has been loaned back to his old club from Manchester United, netted twice in a 4-3 victory the last time these two clubs met at Selhurst Park back in the Championship. Burnley picked up their first point of the season in their last game, which was a 0-0 with a Turf Moor with Manchester United.

Kevin Doyle, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, who scored twice in 10 games on his previous loan to QPR, could feature for Palace along with fellow deadline day signings Zeki Fryers from Spurs, and James McArthur from Wigan.

Returning Striker Andrew Johnson could also play, but he would struggle to push in-form Dwight Gayle out of the team. The Eagle’s will have to do without the services of Marouane Chamakh, who is out for three weeks, as well as Jimmy Kebe, Stuart O’Keefe, Lewis Price and Peter Ramage.

Burnley made three deadline day signings, but Chalobah, on loan from Chelsea and Keane, on loan from Man Utd have been told they are unlikely to feature straight away.

However George Boyd could well play in attack after training well with Dyche’s squad during the international break. Burnley’s only absentee will be Sam Vokes, after Danny Ings returns after suffering from an illness.

Southampton v Newcastle 15:00 

Newcastle United travel to St Mary’s at the weekend, searching for their first victory of the season.

The Magpies struggled at home against Crystal Palace two weeks ago, where they were denied the win by a late Wilfried Zaha equaliser.

The last time Saints met Newcastle at their stadium they thrashed them 4-0, although none of the three goal-scorers will be playing, with Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert completing moves to Liverpool, and Jay Rodriguez, who scored twice in the March game, sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury.

Both teams have much changed sides since last season, especially Southampton after their summer clear-out, where they saw £105.2million worth of players leave the club, and spent £64.4million of it.

Atletico Madrid loanee and Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld could make his debut for Ronald Koeman’s new look side, while another centre-back Florian Gardos of  Romania is also in contention. Senegalese Winger Sadio Mane, who recently arrived from Red Bull Salzburg for £11.8million, may play a part too. Along with Saints winger Rodriguez, Koeman is without Lloyd Isgrove and Sam Gallagher.

Newcastle are without new singing Siem de Jong, brother of last season’s PSV loanee Luuk de Jong, through injury. Midfielders Cheick Tiote and Jack Colback will return to the Newcastle squad after both recovering from injuries, whilst midfielder Rolando Aarons is still out with a hamstring injury.

Also yet to return are striker’s Papiss Cisse and Facundo Ferreyra who are out with knee and back injuries respectively.

Stoke v Leicester 15:00 

Leicester City visit Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium as both sides look to build on positive starts to the new season.

Stoke have managed a loss, a draw and a very impressive victory away at Man City in which new signing Mame Diouf scored the only goal. Leicester managed two draws from their home matches against Everton and Arsenal, but lost to Chelsea.

Stoke will have to make do without striker Peter Odemwingie, after being carried off the pitch in Match Day 3 against Man City. He suffered a knee injury and is likely to be out for several months. Geoff Cameron is also unavailable after the club confirmed he is set to undergo hernia surgery. Assaidi, who has returned from Liverpool for a second loan, is in contention for Stoke, although Hughes may not want to risk him following a summer injury.

Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, who arrived on a free transfer from Inter  on deadline day, is yet to feature for Leicester but was an unused substitute against Arsenal. Fellow deadline day signings Nick Powell and Tom Lawrence from Man United are also available as is new defender Danny Simpson. Matty James is back in training after an injury to his shin, but the game has come too quickly for the midfielder and he will have to sit it out. Also absent is ex-Stoke and England defender Matthew Upson, who is sidelined with a foot injury.

Sunderland v Tottenham 15:00 

Sunderland will take on Tottenham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and will be hoping to come back from a defeat to QPR on the third week of the Premier League.

Sunderland have secured a draw, a win and a loss so far in the league, the draw being against Man United, whilst Tottenham have managed two victories and a defeat in the premier league including a 4-0 demolition against Queen’s Park Rangers. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has also managed two Europa League victories, but suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool a fortnight s ago.

Sunderland summer signings Sebastian Coates and Ricky Alvarez are hopeful that they can make their debuts in the clash against the Lilywhites, who both joined on loan on deadline day, from Liverpool and Inter respectively. Gus Poyet has no injury concerns for the game.

For Spurs, new signings Federico Fazio, from Sevilla, and Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier could play a role in Wearside match.

Pochettino has stated that he expects both to travel with the team. Roberto Soldado, who had a very disappointing debut season is out with a neck injury, as is Kyle Walker with a hip injury that he sustained in early march.

However, no Spurs player returned from the international break with an injury, although Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria only returned on Thursday, so is very unlikely to play a part in what Tottenham would hope to be a third victory from four games.

West Brom v Everton 15:00 

West Bromwich Albion welcome Everton to The Hawthorns, and both sides will be desperate to clinch a win as neither have had the upper-hand in either of their first three games.

New West Brom boss Alan Irvine clashes with his former club and will be very much hoping to come out victorious, especially with Everton conceding 6 goals in the 3-6 thriller at Goodison Park, and 10 goals all together this season. Although Toffee’s boss Roberto Martinez will we expecting an immediate response from the team that finished 5th in the Premier League last season.

Ben Foster is set to return for West Brom following a thumb injury. Joleon Lescott who arrived from Manchester City in the summer could well make his debut for the club as he has all but recovered from a knee injury, while Sebastian Blanco, Georgios Samaras and Silvestre Valera may feature although they all lack full fitness.

Chris Brunt, Graham Dorrans and Gareth McAuley are available too, as they have recovered from knocks received during international duty. Youssouf Mulumbu’s hamstring injury and Victor Anichebe’s hernia are set to be assessed.

Martinez will check on midfielder Leon Osman and summer signing striker Samuel Eto’o before the trip to West Brom. Osman sustained a calf injury in a friendly earlier in the week, while former Cameroon forward Eto’o has been suffering from a groin problem since facing former club Chelsea two weeks ago. Ross Barkley won’t be returning for another month because of a knee injury, but Arouna Kone with a knee injury and Bryan Oviedo who broke his leg are very close to full fitness after taking part in a private game against Stoke earlier in the week.

Liverpool v Aston Villa 17:30 

Third will face fifth in the late game on Saturday as Liverpool host Aston Villa at Anfield.

Liverpool were impressive in their previous game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, with an exceptional performance from the young England international Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will have to think carefully about his selection as his side face a hectic schedule with 7 games in the next 21 days. Maro Balotelli, who recently arrived from Milan for £16million, is set to make his Liverpool home debut.

Villa so far are unbeaten in the league with two victories and a draw, will be hoping to maintain their impressive start to the season. They are unbeaten in their last three visits to Anfield.

Liverpool summer signing Adam Lallana will most likely make his competitive debut for the club, as he has now recovered from his pre-season knee injury. However defenders Martin Skrtl, Jon Flanagan and Glen Johnson are yet to return. New signing Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen and Wales international Joe Allen will also both miss out after picking up ankle and knee injury’s respectively whilst out on international duty.

Paul Lambert, Aston Villa manager, may allow English midfielder Tom Cleverley to make his debut after arriving on loan from Manchester United. However Villa have a few injury doubts over several players.

Fixtures:

Sunday 14th September:

Man Utd v QPR 16:00 

Monday 15th September:

Hull v West Ham 20:00 

By Joe Rennie

Connolly sinks Dutch

Callum Connolly’s first-ever England goals helped fire his side to a 3-1 victory over Holland at the JD Stadium in Bury on a night the Everton youngster will never forget.

Having pounced on a loose ball in the first half, the left-back found himself in the box again late on as he sealed his brace, that coming after Dominic Solanke had grabbed a second for the Three Lions in a brilliant performance by Neil Dewsnip’s side.

The head coach began with only four of the players who started on Wednesday, Adam Armstrong, Taylor Moore, Callum Connolly and skipper Ryan Ledson. It was a special evening for Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter who was handed his first international start in the heart of the defence.

England 3-1 Netherlands

U18s International Match
Friday 5 September 2014
JD Stadium, Bury FC
Attendance 2,579

With the England band in attendance whipping up the crowd, the atmosphere was lively under floodlights, as was the match action.

Some tough tackles were going in early, Ledson and Jonjoe Kenny, moved from his usual position of full-back into midfield, stamping their authority early on. And it was Kenny who created the first chance of the match on seven minutes, as his 30-yard pass pierced the Dutch defence and sent Armstrong away. The Newcastle striker saw his strike saved by the goalkeeper, and Solanke’s follow-up was blocked on the line.

Solanke thought he had another opening on 20 minutes, forcing Calvin Verdonk into a back pass with some fine pressing play. The visiting captain looked to have underhit his pass as Solanke tore down on the keeper, but just missed out as the shot-stopper won the tackle with the Chelsea striker 10 yards out.

England were controlling possession with the only effort of note from the Dutch being a long ranger from Gustavo Hamer that ended up rolling to Freddie Woodman's feet.

On 34 minutes Josh Onomah broke forward from midfield before being hauled down by Hamer 25 yards out on the left. Ledson whipped in the free-kick to the edge of the six-yard box, and Van Osch punched it straight into Clarke-Salter, but luckily for him the ball rebounded wide for a goal-kick.

A further chance for the Young Lions came on 40 minutes, Sheyi Ojo stinging the keepers’ hands with a left-footed drive from the angle of the area, and Verdonk whizzed one wide from 30 yards for the visitors as it looked like it would be goalless at the break – but England would get their reward before the whistle.

With 42 minutes on the clock, Ojo sent a corner deep towards the back post, and Taylor Moore’s headed knockdown was pounced on by Everton defender Callum Connolly from four yards to score his first goal for his country.

No changes were made at the break, and it was quite a subdued start to the second half as Dewsnip’s side remained in control without threatening – until Onomah came to life on 56 minutes to supply Solanke.

The Tottenham midfielder broke forward, forcing the visiting defence to retreat, and he played the ball into a gap that had appeared between the full-back and his centre backs for Solanke to run on to. The forward’s first effort was saved, but he made no mistake as he finished at the second time of asking.

It was almost three moments later as Armstrong rounded the keeper, but he took it too wide as his effort was blocked from an acute angle, and Onomah rattled the crossbar with the follow-up.

England were completely in control, but a moment's lapse in concentration presented Holland with a chance to get back into the game – and they took it, as Alessio da Cruz unleashed a thunderbolt from 20 yards to punish some hesitant defending on 62 minutes.

For the following few minutes England looked a little nervy, but this was a night that belonged to left-back Connolly. The youngster from Merseyside was to seal a dream evening with 14 minutes remaining.

Substitute Josh Sims beat his man down the right near the by-line and squared it across the six-yard box for Connolly once again to show off his poaching instincts – and he made no mistake to seal his double.

With four minutes remaining the two-goal hero almost entered dreamland, bombing forward to support an attack and beating the offside trap to meet a Sims through-ball, but as his team-mates and the crowd held their breath for a hat-trick, a sigh of frustration rang out around the JD Stadium as the keeper spoiled the party by saving.

Nevertheless, this is a night to remember for the Everton youngster.

England (4-3-3): 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United); 5 Tafari Moore (Arsenal), 7 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 6 Taylor Moore (RC Lens), 3 Callum Connolly (Everton); 9 Ryan Ledson (C), 8 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 12 Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur); 15 Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), 16 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United), 17 Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool)

Substitutes: 4 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough) for Clarke-Salter (63), 18 Josh Sims (Southampton) for Onomah (70), 19 Demetri Mitchell (Manchester United) for Ojo (89), 10 Callum Cooke (Middlesbrough) for Armstrong (89), 2 Mandela Egbo (Crystal Palace) for Connolly (89)

Substitutes not used: 13 Sam Howes (West Ham United), 11 Lewis Cook (Leeds United)

Goals: Connolly (42, 76), Solanke (56)

Head coach: Neil Dewsnip

Holland (4-3-3): 16 Yanick van Osch, 12 Julian Lelieveld, 14 Hidde Ter Avest, 15 Mauro Savastano, 4 Calvin Verdonk (C), 6 Laros Duarte, 18 Abdelhak Nouri, 7 Gustavo Hamer, 10 Ruben de Jager, 17 Ilias Alhaft, 19 Segun Owobowale

Substitutes: 11 Alessio da Cruz for De Jager (45), 3 Rick van der Meer for Lelieveld (74), 8 Marlon Slabbekoorn for Hamer (74), 9 Martijn Berden for Alhaft (74)

Substitutes not used: 1 Stan van Bladeren, 2 Kaan Karabakal, 5 Wellington Verloo, 20 Joris Klein-Holte

Goals: Da Cruz (62)

Head coach: Maarten Stekelenburg

Images from the weekend: June 5-7

Barcelona's victorious parade through the city's streets leads our images from the weekend. Click 'play' to see slideshow and 'expand' to view on full screen.

Wilshere: We never give up

Jack Wilshere is convinced the determination he and his Arsenal team-mates have shown will be enough to fire them into the Champions League.

The Gunners scored twice in the final seven minutes to claim a point against Everton on Saturday, and the England international says their never-say-die attitude will help them through the second-leg play-off tie against Turkish side Besiktas and into the Group Stage.

Olivier Giroud celebrates his last-minute strike against Everton

Olivier Giroud celebrates his last-minute equaliser at Goodison Park

“It is easy for me to say that we have great character but if we put in performances like that week in, week out we can prove it to people,” he told www.arsenal.com. 

“We have got great character, great togetherness and some leaders out there that keep us going. We also have great players to go with that.”

Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League for the 17th consecutive season if they beat the Turkish side at the Emirates on Wednesday evening. 

The tie is evenly poised after the pair drew the first leg 0-0 in Istanbul.

Despite coming close to missing out on several occasions in recent seasons, Wilshere says he and his team-mates have always maintained their inner belief.

“We never give up and at this level that is massive”

Jack Wilshere 

“We have always shown over the years that Arsenal are going to battle like mad right until the end," he added.

“There have been a few games where we have been behind right until the end but have kept going.

“This is a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that.”

Ivory Coast fan leads our images from the weekend

An eccentric Ivory Coast fan campaigning to stop the spread of the Ebola virus at the game against Sierra Leone is the pick of our images from the weekend.

The perfect Panenka penalty.

Antonio Cassano chips the perfect Panenka penalty in Parma's 4-2 defeat away to Udinese last night. [embedded content]

John Terry says referee intimidation is wrong, but admits he has to do it

Chelsea skipper says he has to set an example to his teammates.

John Terry Chelsea referee Bjorn Kuipers

Form an oderly queue...John Terry leads the rush to confront referee Bjorn Kuipers.

John Terry has defended Chelsea’s conduct during their Champions League elimination to after the London club’s players were dubbed “pathetic” and “babies”.

Former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness, now working as a pundit on Sky Sports, described Chelsea’s approach as “pathetic”, while PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic compared the Chelsea players to babies.

Despite playing with 10 men for 90 minutes, PSG emerged victorious on away goals in an ugly affair, which was marred by several incidents of referee intimidation by both sets of players.

Terry, who was at the forefront of one such incident which resulted in PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic being sent off, defended his conduct, claiming that it was a response to the opposition charging the referee.

As a defence, ‘they started it’ doesn’t have much going for it, but that is only to be expected when one is defending the indefensible.

“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond,” Terry said. “You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.

“For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, for me I think I support my team-mates.

“And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn’t look good at all but that’s part of the game. We’ll match it if people want to mix it, that’s part of our game as well.

“You have to stick up for your team-mates. Every other side is as bad as each other. It’s part of the game.”

Fabian Delph ‘excited’

England fans can expect 100 per cent from newcomer Fabian Delph if he gets his chance against Norway at Wembley.  

The Aston Villa midfielder received his first call-up from Roy Hodgson last week and says he's enjoying a taste of the senior set-up.

After a "consistent" couple of seasons at Villa Park, the 24-year-old was excited to get the recognition and was welcomed in to the camp by some familiar faces.

England v Norway

International Match
8pm, Wednesday 3 September 2014
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
www.TheFA.com/tickets

"I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s a new experience for me. I already knew quite a few of the boys, so it was nice to catch up with them," he told TheFA.com. 

"I know Danny Rose – I’ve known him since I was eleven years old as we came through the system at Leeds together, I know Welbeck, Sturridge, Wilshere and obviously James Milner from playing with him at Aston Villa. 

"You play against these guys week in and week out, and they are nice people so it’s good to be here. I expected it to be relaxed, there’s a lot who are a similar age to me. 

"I didn’t expect to come here and not be welcomed, so everything has gone perfect so far."

He continued: "I had the cool-down the first day I was here, then the second day I was training. 

"The tempo was high, the quality was up and it was really good. You can never guess what it’s going to be like and the intensity was quite high, but I don’t mind running about." 

[embedded content]

Fabian Delph speaks to FATV

Delph will start on the bench against Norway as Hodgson heads into the first two games of the new campaign with a young squad with an average age of 25.

And the former Leeds United youth product, who played for England at Under-21s and U19s level, knows this is a chance for him to stake a claim in the side after working his way into Hodgson's plans.

"As I got in from training on Thursday morning, the doctor pulled me and said he’d had some information sent through, then I walked out of his office and everyone said ‘congratulations’, so that’s when I found out [I was in the squad]," revealed Delph.

"I felt really excited, I felt proud and I was looking forward to coming. Now I’m here I’m even happier. 

"The last two seasons have been pretty consistent, last season was probably better than the one before, so he’s picked me on the back of playing well for my club. 

"[Fans can expect] 100 per cent commitment. I like to get around the pitch with a lot of energy, close people down, so that’s what I’ll look to do if I get a chance to get on the pitch." 

And if Delph does make an appearance at Wembley on Wednesday, it won't be his first time playing under the Arch.

In November 2009 he played there for England Under-21s in a European Qualifier against Portugal. 

Fellow senior team newcomer Rose scored the winner in a 1-0 victory that day, while Daniel Sturridge was on the bench. 

Fabian Delph

Fabian Delph trains with England

"Everybody says it’s every boy’s dream [to play at Wembley], but you don’t actually think it will come true. But if it does I’m sure me, my family and friends will all be happy.

"The Portugal game was a long time ago and it’s frightening to think how fast time goes. It’s a really big pitch and I’ll be looking forward to going there again." 

He added: "It’s a clean slate, everyone’s going to have to be ready, and we’re going to have to take the game to teams and try to be solid. 

"We’ve got a lot of talented players who don’t get the credit they deserve. We have a lot of attacking players and hopefully if we gel and bring it together we can be a solid unit.

"The opportunity is there and I’m happy to be here and hopefully I can’t take it and do well."