England - Portugal Preview: Can Hodgson's side head on the plane with confidence?

It's the Three Lions final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2016 with Portugal coming to Wembley.

England - Portugal Preview: Can Hodgson's side head on the plane with confidence?
Will England continue their good form? Photo: Getty Images

England's preparations ahead of Euro 2016 will come to an end tomorrow night as the Three Lions take on Portugal in their final game before boarding the plane to France to begin training ahead of the opening game with Russia

Coming off the back of two victories against Turkey and Australia, England will be hoping to make it a hattrick of victories to take as much confidence into the tournament as possible. Given the fact that Roy Hodgson has now picked his official 23 man squad, everyone is now fighting for a place to feature in the starting line-up.

Team News

It is likely that Hodgson will start with a team very similar to what England will play with against Russia so that the squad can get used to playing with each other and Hodgson can see what improvements need to be made before the opening game. With Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph and Danny Drinkwater all being dropped this week the squad of 23 are hoping to prove that Hodgson made the correct decision in picking them. 

Bertrand will miss the game with Portugal. Photo-SkySports.com
Bertrand will miss the game with Portugal. Photo: SkySports.com

England will only be without Ryan Bertrand who is still suffering from a knock which has kept him out of training meaning Danny Rose will get the chance to start and prove his worth. Both Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson have also been battling fitness issues since the victory against Australia but the pair trained on Wednesday and are available for selection.

Portugal missing key man Ronaldo

Portugal will be without star man Cristiano Ronaldo who is missing the friendly after being given time off following Real Madrid's Champions League victory which saw him score the winning penalty but the Portugal boss, Fernando Santos isn't concerned by his absence. 

Ronaldo missed Portugal's victory over Norway on Sunday and Santos has questioned why people always "Have to talk about Ronaldo?" For England, the news that he will be missing is both negative and positive. Whilst him not playing certainly weakens Portugal, increasing England's chances of victory but the Three Lions will be looking for a final test before it all become serious and playing against Ronaldo would certainly be that. Ronaldo is also a similar player to Gareth Bale who England will face on June 16th in Lens, so his absence will hurt preparations.

Previous meetings

Whilst the fixture is being advertised as a 'friendly' it will be anything but that. The rivalry between the two nations has been furious and intense over recent years due to Portugal getting the upper hand at several tournaments as England were sent packing at the 2006 World Cup and the 2004 Euros.

You have to look back as far as 1998 for the last time that England beat Portugal and if Roy Hodgson's side are hoping to head to France with an undefeated streak to defend then they will have to put on another professional display as Hodgson's new young army attempt to continue becoming a serious contender for the Euros.