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Jones will start in Rio

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02 Jun 2013 07:47:02

Jones will start in Rio

Manchester United's Phil Jones will line up against Brazil at the Maracana on Sunday in an England team captained by Frank Lampard, manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Jones has six England caps to his name but Hodgson would not confirm whether his seventh would come in the role of central defender, his preferred position, or that of a holding midfielder.

The versatile 21-year-old came off the bench to play at right-back against the Republic of Ireland in midweek and Hodgson is now ready to start him against the five-time world champions.

"He'll play, yes he'll start," confirmed Hodgson, who stopped short of naming the rest of his starting XI, save to confirm that Lampard would be skipper after he passed the honour to Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole against Ireland. "Frank is captain - but I'm not going to say any more on the subject of formations."

Injuries to strikers Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll have left England short of options for Sunday's eagerly anticipated clash - and Hodgson claims the national side is suffering from a lack of depth in attack.

"It's fairly obvious to everyone that one of the areas where we've been unfortunate is in the choice of front players and the availability of front players," he said.

"Certainly three of the front players I would like to have taken here with me have not been available for selection. We would like a stronger pool of front players to choose from, so that when one or two get injured we have still got some left.

"But I'm afraid that I manage England, I don't manage other countries, and that's what we have in England. If you look at the Premier League, most of the strikers are foreigners. But there's nothing we can do about it. We pick from the players that we have."

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney looks certain to start up front, but the interesting decision will be who plays alongside him, with Jermain Defoe and Theo Walcott in the frame.

"One option is Defoe and Rooney or even Walcott and Rooney," Hodgson added. "The other option is to play Wayne or one of the others up there on his own and bring someone extra into the midfield. We want to keep our wide players like we had the other night."


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