Welbeck in as England seek winning momentum against Dutch
England have not beaten Holland since Euro 96, but Fabio Capello will be hoping that the inclusion of Danny Welbeck in his latest squad will help inspire a victory that will boost confidence ahead of two crunch games next month.
Capello has named the Manchester United forward as his fourth striker alongside Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch for the visit of the Dutch, ahead of the likes of Jermain Defoe.
Darren Bent has been regularly picked by England of late, but he has been left out of the friendly to fully recover from a shoulder problem so that he can start Aston Villa’s first game of the Premier League season at Fulham.
The timing of the friendly has not overly impressed Capello as it is ahead of the opening round of Premier League games, meaning the manager has no form guidance to go on or any proof of which players are at peak fitness.
Sven-Goran Eriksson found himself in a similar position ten years ago when meeting Holland in a friendly in August and ended up suffering a comprehensive 2-0 defeat.
Capello will be keen to avoid such a defeat against last year’s beaten World Cup finalists as the friendly represents his final preparation ahead of England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales next month.
With these games in mind, Capello has also called up Kyle Walker and Micah Richards for his squad to face Holland, with Glen Johnson suffering a hamstring injury in Liverpool’s friendly with Valencia.
England’s odds are 5/4 to beat Holland, with the visitors 17/10 to triumph at Wembley.
The last four meetings between the pair have ended all square and it is 9/4 that they grind out a fifth successive draw.