Soccer-Golden Lampard leads experimental England against Chile


By Mike Collett

LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Frank Lampard will receive a special golden cap to mark 100 appearances for England on Friday when he captains what is expected to be a largely experimental team against Chile in a friendly at Wembley.

Coach Roy Hodgson, speaking to the media at England's base at Watford, north of London, would only reveal on Thursday that Lampard would definitely start, but did strongly hint the team would look rather different than usual as he continues to plan for next year's World Cup finals.

Both Friday's opponents Chile, and Germany, who play England at Wembley next Tuesday, have also already qualified for next year's finals.

Although England have lost only once in open play in 22 matches under Hodgson -- and not been beaten for 10 games since they lost a friendly to Sweden a year ago this week -- Hodgson said he was prepared to sacrifice that unbeaten run for the greater good.

"I think I have got to put the performances ahead of the good run," he said. "I think in these two games I need to have a look at one or two players who are knocking heavily on the door and deserve a chance to show what they can do.

"There are only these two matches to do that and one in March, so I can't dismiss the need to give some playing time to people to know more about them.

"I am not trying to play down the importance of winning games and to keep the unbeaten run going, but I am not going to do it and have an unbeaten record to boast of if it is going to be at the detriment of looking at other players.

"Then I would be no wiser in March than I am today, and I need to be wiser in March, and these are the games to use."


Hodgson said that Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, who has scored twice in his three England games this season, would miss at least the Chile game with a slight muscle injury, but that his Saints team mates, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez who are both uncapped "would play some part in the match".

He confirmed usual skipper Steven Gerrard and defender Kyle Walker were both being rested through injury for the Chile game, and that Daniel Sturridge was doubtful.

First choice goalkeeper Joe Hart would not play on Friday but Hodgson would not say if uncapped Celtic keeper Fraser Forster or John Ruddy, who has one cap, would play for the whole match against Chile, or share the duties.

Lampard, who made his 100th England appearance against Ukraine in a highly-charged World Cup qualifier in Kiev earlier this year, will be making his 103rd appearance on Friday.

The 35-year-old will receive his milestone golden cap before kickoff from his father Frank, who played twice for England, and Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero when England won the World Cup in 1966.

Lampard, who made his debut for England in October 1999, told reporters: "It will be a very special moment for me.

"To win 100 caps was a long time coming and I've seen gold caps given to Stevie (Gerrard) and Ashley (Cole) and the idea of Sir Geoff being involved came from the FA, but it's one I'm very happy with.

"I requested my dad was involved as well and he will be very proud."

Friday's match will only be the sixth time England have played Chile. The visitors won 2-0 at Wembley the last time the sides met in 1998.

The last time England scored against the South Americans was when Tommy Taylor and Nat Lofthouse found the net in a 2-1 win in Santiago in May 1953. (Editing by Ossian Shine)

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