Tuesday August 14 2012
Hodgson cagey for Italy

Roy Hodgson has given Frank Lampard the captain’s armband against Italy, but won’t reveal his starting XI.

The Three Lions face the Azzurri in an international friendly tomorrow evening in Berne, Switzerland.

Lampard and Michael Carrick are back in the squad, having missed Euro 2012 – and their quarter-final exit to Italy.

“We missed him during the Euros. If you have players of Frank Lampard's quality, it is a great pity if they are injured,” said Hodgson in a Press conference.

“We had the same situation with Gareth Barry, so we lost two very important members of our central midfield just before we travelled to Poland.

“But at least now Frank is back, and now we have the added bonus that Michael Carrick, who was not available for the Euros because we were told not to consider him, luckily he has reconsidered and I have got yet another quality player.”

Cesare Prandelli happily named his starting XI for the game, which consists of mainly new faces, but ex-Inter and Udinese Coach Hodgson was cagey.

He wouldn’t even reveal who would start in goal between Jack Butland and John Ruddy, considering Joe Hart pulled out with a back injury.

“I can't say that because I haven't actually spoken to the players. I haven't even given them an indication of who is playing unless they try to read my mind during the training sessions and see how people line up there.

“As far as Jack and John, they're pretty much neck and neck for a place in the team and I'm still to decide whether I just choose one or whether possibly we have enough substitutes to enable me to give each of them a game.

“And that wouldn't be wrong and if we didn't have the restrictions on substitutes I could tell you now. But I have to be a little more careful when you can only use six.

“I'm quite anxious we give quite a lot of the players the chance to get on the field and play but we're only allowed six substitutes so in actual fact 19 players is still more than enough. We’ll still have more substitutes than we're allowed.”

Hodgson has not called in any more replacements after Joleon Lescott was added to the squad, as in the last 24 hours England have lost Hart, Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.