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Match Previews

Preview: Ecuador v England

4 June 2014

England's second FIFA World Cup warm-up match sees them take on Ecuador at the Sun Life Stadium, Miami, on Wednesday with kick-off at 8pm (UK time).

The Three Lions overcame Peru 3-0 at Wembley last Friday with goals from Daniel Sturridge, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, before they embarked on their training in the United States.

The first of their two games in Miami sees them come up against Group E occupants Ecuador, who face Switzerland in their first match in Brazil on 15th June.

La Tricolor suffered severe inconsistency during their qualifying campaign - undefeated at home but winless away. They qualified by finishing fourth in the South American group, above Uruguay on goal difference.

They come into the clash with England after only one win in their five most recent outings.

England team news

Roy Hodgson has made no secret of the fact that his England team will be much-changed from their victory against Peru.

The most significant alteration will see James Milner play at right-back in what will be an experimental Three Lions team.

The 28-year-old will come in for first-choice Glen Johnson, while the other defensive positions look likely to be filled by Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, and Southampton's Luke Shaw.

Frank Lampard, who has announced he is leaving Chelsea after 13 years at Stamford Bridge, will captain the team, with Jack Wilshere expected to partner him in the middle.

Wayne Rooney is set to play in an unfamiliar left-sided role as he looks to build fitness ahead of England's World Cup opener against Italy on 14th June.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Everton's Ross Barkley and Liverpool pair Rickie Lambert and Raheem Sterling will battle it out for the other starting spots in the attacking third of the pitch.

Ben Foster is likely to come in for Joe Hart in goal.

Watch out for...

England's attack.

Roy Hodgson has a lot of quality up front and in the wide areas so these are important games for players that can fill those positions, particularly when the manager is open to experimenting.

Antonio Valencia.

An exciting player on his day, we are all aware of Manchester United's Antonio Valencia. Depending on which side he plays, the nippy winger will be sure to keep either Milner or Shaw busy.

Ecuador's other winger, Christian Noboa, and forwards Felipe Caicedo and Jefferson Montero are also worth keeping an eye on.

Head-to-Head

These two countries have only ever met twice and England have triumphed on both occasions.

In May 1970 the Three Lions were 2-0 victors against Ecuador, while their most recent meeting - in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup, which was the furthest La Tricolor have ever progressed in the tournament - was settled by a 60th-minute David Beckham free-kick.

England haven't lost a warm-up match for an international tournament since May 1990, winning 15 and drawing eight.

In the Media

England manager Roy Hodgson told BBC Radio 5Live: "There will be changes in the team, no question, but I can't speak in detail. We have a team meeting when we go through the Ecuador team. At that time I will probably tell the players who's playing. I'll have to keep it to myself.

"We expect Ecuador to approach the game as we do. Their main focus will be opening game in Brazil but they'll be interested to continue their preparation and give players a chance to show what they can do."

Ecuador head coach Reinaldo Rueda said: "Their team is at a tremendous level throughout, so it's not just about one player.

"Rooney is a goalscorer and a leader, we know that, but England have Gerrard, they have Lampard, they have Welbeck, they have Smalling. Rooney is Rooney, but we focus on the collective and they are a strong side."


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