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England to audition new cast of heroes against Holland

| 28.03.2016

Not only has England’s impressive come-from-behind win over Germany sent expectations for the European Championships skyward, but it has heaped a whole host of pressure on the rest of the squad.

Roy Hodgson is expected to shuffle his starting XI when the Netherlands visit Wembley for the second friendly of the international break, with the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge likely to feature from the off.

The onus will be on those three, and any other new faces in the side, to replicate the impressive display Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Danny Welbeck and co produced in Berlin.

Audition time for the final 23-man squad that heads to France this summer is ticking down and the bar has been set incredibly high by the 11 men that started the game in Germany.

It will be intriguing to see if Hodgson instructs his side to press high up the pitch once again, especially as the Three Lions are now playing host and facing a weaker opposition.

The Dutch failed to qualify for the European Championships this summer – the first time they will be absent from the tournament since 1984.

Since then the side has been in transition, with younger players given the chance to kickstart their international careers.

Only three players in the squad called up by Danny Blind for the current international break has over 35 caps; Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay and the manager’s son Daley.

With such an inexperienced crop, it is somewhat understandable that results have slipped for the Oranje.

Wales and Kazakhstan are the only two sides that the Dutch have beaten in their last six internationals, while away from home they have won just three of their last seven.

On the flip side of that, England are in stellar shape. As has been well documented, they won all 10 of their qualifiers, but have only lost to Spain since the end of the World Cup in 2014.

England are 7/10 to claim another victory with Ladbrokes, while the draw is 13/5 and the Dutch are 4/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.