England - Australia Preview: Three Lions continue pre-Euro's tour in Sunderland

England take on the Socceroos in a friendly on Friday night in preparation for Euro 2016.

England - Australia Preview: Three Lions continue pre-Euro's tour in Sunderland
England take on Australia as they gear up for the European Championships | Image Source: Reuters.

England's preparations for Euro 2016 continue on Friday night, as they take on Australia at Sunderland's Stadium of Light in an international friendly.

After the win over Turkey last weekend, Roy Hodgson's men will be aiming to put in a convincing performance, as he gets ready to  name his final 23 man squad before the month is up.

It's a game that shouldn't prove too difficult for an England side that have taken on the likes of Germany and the Netherlands already this year, but will be one that they will look to build confidence in and prove fitness in a bid to cement their place on the plane.

A chance to impress

After a less than comfortable win over a Turkey side that could prove to be similar opposition as England's group stage opponents, this game against Australia will perhaps present Roy Hodgson with the chance to really put his plans into place against what should be easier opposition.

There are a number of players however that will be vying for starting places within this side, and looking to really impress now the domestic season has finished. It's difficult to work out what kind of system Roy Hodgson will play, but the likes of Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana who seem likely to start on the flanks in France, will be eager to impress. After Sterling, Andros Townsend remains the only other proper winger in the squad, meaning England could play with quite a narrow style. 

The likes of Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere will be two other names looking to impress in a bid for starting places, assuming the latter makes the 23 man squad.

Roy Hodgson's mind won't be entirely made up on who starts in defence either, after the questionable displays of John Stones this season and against Turkey last weekend. The Everton centre-half will therefore be really looking to improve his performances, starting with Australia on Friday.

Team News

Marcus Rashford is set to make his international debut at the Stadium of Light after Daniel Sturridge missed training on Wednesday and Jamie Vardy was given permission to leave the squad in order to attend his wedding. 

Rashford is set to make his England debut (photo: Getty Images)
Rashford is set to make his England debut (photo: Getty Images)

With Rashford set to start, that of course means all of the Manchester United men in the side will be back after missing the Turkey game due to the FA Cup final. Chris Smalling is therefore likely to start, with skipper Wayne Rooney possibly set to feature in midfield. 

Hodgson has said he's set to make changes, and therefore there is likely to be a straight swap at full-back with Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand coming in for Kyle Walker and Danny Rose. There could also be a place for James Milner in the starting XI with the midfield a packed area of the team.

For England certaintees like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, they may have to make do with a place on the bench.

As for the Socceroos, Tim Cahill is set to make a return to the country where he developed such fond memories playing for Everton. Meanwhile current English based player and Australia's captain Mile Jedinak, of Crystal Palace should feature in midfield. Liverpool left back Brad Smith, who has played for England at youth level could also start. 

Previous meetings

The last time the two sides met was all the way back in 2003 when the Aussies stunned England by winning 3-1 at Upton Park, in a game which saw Wayne Rooney make his international debut aged just 17. This will be just the seventh time England have taken on Australia in football, with Friday's hosts winning three and drawing two before that defeat 13 years ago.

Australia will have faith that they could surprisingly string a result then, but with Euro 2016 starting in almost two weeks time, England will need to be ready to put in a comfortable performance and build confidence.