Either Celtic’s Fraser Forster or Norwich City’s John Ruddy will have a chance to pile more pressure on Joe Hart tonight after Roy Hodgson confirmed the out-of-form Manchester City goalkeeper will not start the friendly against Chile.
Hart has been dropped by City after a number of errors, and, for the first time in three years, his place as England No 1 has come in to question.
The 26-year-old has been out of the City team for past three games and he will once again be on the substitutes’ bench at Wembley when Chile visit for the international friendly.
“Joe Hart won’t be starting tomorrow,” the England manager said yesterday. “You will have to work out for yourself which of the other two will.”
When asked whether both Ruddy and Forster could both feature, Hodgson admitted: “It’s possible.”
Hart has made grave errors against Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Cardiff and Aston Villa this season, while Forster has been in superb form for Celtic.
The 25-year-old from Hexham was dubbed “The Wall” by Barcelona fans and players alike after he performed superbly against the Spanish giants in the Champions League.
Ruddy made his England debut last season and would have been in Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad had he not broken a finger in the run-up to the tournament.
Hodgson has been keeping an eye on the two replacements for a long time now. “I have been lucky enough now to work with John for a period of time,” he said. “He was been with us from the beginning and I have had Fraser with us for over a year so I do know a bit about them. I have made it [his decision], but I am not prepared to reveal it.”
The England manager confirmed Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana would both make their debuts, but would not say whether they would start, and confirmed that Rickie Lambert is out because of a muscle complaint.
Kyle Walker will miss the game through injury and Daniel Sturridge is likely to be rested because of a foot problem. Frank Lampard will captain the side and pick up a golden cap to celebrate his 100th appearance.
There will, therefore, be an experimental appearance to the England XI but, with the World Cup seven months away, Hodgson says he must shuffle his pack, even if it threatens his side’s unbeaten run in 2013.
“I’ve got to put the performances in front of protecting an unbeaten run,” Hodgson added. “I do need in these two games to have a look at one or two players who are heavily knocking on the door and deserve a chance to show what they can do.
“There are only these two matches, plus the one in March, to do that before the squad is named. I can’t dismiss the need to give some playing time to people we need to know more about.”