With England's 26-man provisional squad for Euro 2016 set to be trimmed to 23 later this month, we pick out five players who will desperate to impress against the Caltex Socceroos.
The 18-year-old was the shock selection in Hodgson’s squad, having played just 16 first-team games for Manchester United. But his pace, skill and goal return (seven goals) caught the eye and underlined Rashford as a real talent. England isn’t short of striking options with the likes of Rooney, Vardy, Kane and Sturridge also in excellent form and expected to be on the plane to France.
But the teenager could be a real x-factor for England at the Euros and a big performance against the Socceroos might tempt the boss to take a chance on him. There were similar doubts over Michael Owen’s inclusion before France ’98 and that turned out to be a masterstroke.
The Arsenal midfielder is a prodigious talent but is coming off yet another injury-wrecked season. After breaking his leg in August, Wilkshere only just returned to the Gunners’ first-team late in the season, making a couple of substitute appearances before starting the final game against Aston Villa.
In the 24-year-old’s favour, is that he offers something different to England’s other midfielders while he should be fresh having not gone through a full, gruelling EPL campaign. Scored two goals in his last appearance for England last June and might need something similar against Ange’s boys to earn a ticket to France.
Drinkwater is coming off an outstanding season with title-winners Leicester City but appears no certainty to make the final 23-man squad. The 26-year-old was a driving force in midfield for the Foxes, running, tackling and passing himself to a standstill all season for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
He only recently made his full debut in a friendly against the Netherlands and is seemingly in a battle with the likes of Eric Dier and Fabian Delph for a midfield berth if Hodgson decides to cull one from that area.
The skillful winger played a key role during the qualifying phase only to lose his place in the side when he was stuck on the bench at Tottenham. Has played regular football after making the move to Newcastle United and while producing some eye-catching moments, wasn’t consistent enough as the Toon were relegated from the EPL.
While the 24-year-old is a favourite of Hodgson’s and has the ability to be a match-winner on his day, you get the feeling he needs a big performance against Australia to make the cut.
Like Wilkshere, the Manchester City midfielder has hardly featured for his club this season due to a mixture of injury and poor form. But despite all that, the 26-year-old was a surprise selection in the provisional squad, much to the anger of many England fans.
The only way to silence the doubters is to perform on the pitch and Delph will need to do that against the Socceroos if he merits a spot in the final squad. When fully fit is a quality technician but can he outshine Jedinak, Mooy, Luongo and co at the Stadium of Light.
Statement: Optus' FIFA World Cup™ coverage
Like all football fans in Australia, FFA has been very disappointed by the technical problems which have so affected the FIFA World Cup coverage by Optus. Optus’ broadcasting agreement is with FIFA not FFA, but FFA is receiving regular updates from both Optus and SBS to see wh
Opponent Watch: Denmark midfielder ruled out of FIFA World Cup™
France have played out a difficult training game against an Under-19 club opponent while Denmark have seen one of their key midfielders ruled out of the tournament with an injury. Plus the latest on Peru in this edition of Opponent Watch. DAY 29 WRAP: France game dissected
Revealed: What Jedinak said to Socceroos teammates after loss
Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has explained what he said to teammates in a huddle following the narrow 2-1 loss to France at the FIFA World Cup™. Jedinak, who scored Australia’s goal from the penalty spot, was picked in midfield alongside Aaron Mooy and the duo produced a ste
The star a nation is built around: Denmark's key men
Denmark is the next name on the Socceroos’ list as they head to Samara for the second Group C fixture on Thursday night (AEST) – you can catch it at 10pm AEST on SBS and Optus Sport. Ranked 12th in the world, Denmark finished second in their qualifying group behind Poland and