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The build-up starts here for Roy Hodgson as England bid to win their first world cup since 1966.
The Three Lions will face Chile in a friendly on Friday, before facing one of the favourites for next year Germany on Tuesday.
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What was a meaningless end of season friendly has had an injection of spice with Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, claiming that England has no chance of winning the World Cup next year and that their players are pampered.
Speaking to the Daily Express, the forward said “We are a tougher team than England,”
“The problem for teams like England is that everything is so easy for them. They join these academies at maybe 10 or 11 years old and everything is done for them
“I used to wash cars for such little money just so I had enough money to buy my football boots. When you are at academies like Manchester United and Arsenal then everything is just given to you.
“If I had failed I would be working 15-hour days on construction sites and still not be earning enough to live. Football saved me, and I don’t think any England players could say that.”
“I don’t think England can win the World Cup,” he added. “They have some very good players but are probably not at the level where they can beat the best.
England will be out to make Sanchez eat his words on Friday although the build up to the game has not been ideal for Hodgson with a number of players, key to their hopes next summer, missing Friday’s game through injury.
Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Steven Gerrard, Kyle Walker are all out while Frank Lampard (cold) and Daniel Sturridge (foot) are both being monitored and will be given every chance to prove their fitness.
The withdrawals will mean a more experimental line out for England and that could spell good news for Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana.
The midfield pair has enjoyed impressive season’s to date with Southampton Captain Lallana in particular catching the eye.
The playmaker has risen through the ranks at St. Marys and with three goals and two assists already this season he already well on his way to bettering his contribution from last year when he weighed in with three goals and five assists.
The improved level of performance has not gone unnoticed and the 25 year old looks set to win his first cap on Friday.
Lallana and Henderson are vying with Jack Wilshere, on his way back from an ankle injury, the more defensive Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley for the midfield spot alongside Lampard.
Henderson and indeed Cleverley could be asked to play out right with Hodgson lacking options on that side while Andros Townsend is set to win his third cap on the left.
Up front Sturridge, assuming he is passed fit, will partner Wayne Rooney with Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Jermaine Defoe the back up’s.
At the back Joe Hart will put his club woes behind him to start while Glenn Johnson, Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka will form the back form with Ashley Cole and Chris Smalling hoping for run-outs from the bench.