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Hodgson grapples with line-up for Brazil test

Published on Feb 3, 2013 7:40 AM
 
In this file picture taken on Nov 13, 2012 Manager of the England football team Roy Hodgson addresses a press conference of the English national football team at the 'Friends Arena' in Stockholm, Sweden, on the eve of the Fifa World Cup 2014 friendly match England vs Sweden. Playing Brazil is normally regarded as the toughest test an international team can face, but England manager Roy Hodgson's biggest concern ahead of the Feb 6, 2013 friendly is who to leave out of his side. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Playing Brazil is normally regarded as the toughest test an international team can face, but England manager Roy Hodgson's biggest concern ahead of Wednesday's friendly is who to leave out of his side.

Hodgson has now been in charge of England for nine months and although their Euro 2012 campaign highlighted limitations in his squad, there have been consistent signs of progress since then, notwithstanding a friendly defeat in Sweden in their last fixture when Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show.

Even a quick glance at the current Premier League season, however, is enough to reveal a high number of teams fielding a core of English players, and a string of England internationals in encouraging form.

The return of Jack Wilshere to Arsenal's side after injury, for instance, has provided England fans with hope, together with a rapid improvement by Theo Walcott, who has scored 18 goals already this season.

 
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