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Costa Rica vs England preview - Roy challenges duo to shine

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by PA

Roy Hodgson has challenged Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere to prove England have a bright future ahead of them after their World Cup shambles.

Having been eliminated last Friday after two straight defeats, England's final Group D match against Costa Rica on Tuesday is nothing but a dead rubber.

Hodgson admits the realisation that he had led England to their fastest World Cup exit had thrown him into "a realm of despair".

That despair will only increase on Tuesday if England are defeated by Costa Rica who despite holding a 100 per cent record in Brazil, sit below Scotland in the FIFA rankings.

Barkley, 20, and 22-year-old Wilshere will start in the centre of midfield in the Estadio Mineirao. The duo have just 12 starts between them, but they are likely to be part of England's re-building process, particularly if Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retire from international duty after the Costa Rica game.

"I'm looking for them to show their talent," the England manager said.

"Both of them are very good passers of the ball, very good at running with the ball.

"Both, for young players, have good vision for the game. That will improve the more games they play, but they're well advanced for their age.

"This is a chance for them to show they are good players.

"They have an opportunity to play from the start, and together in a game with other young players around them.

"They can show the faith and hope we have that those boys are ready to make their mark.

"This could be the first moment they give us an inkling that we are on the right track."

Hodgson thinks the nine players drafted into the XI all have a chance to impress.

"It's a great opportunity for these players," he said.

"I'm handing them an opportunity to go out on a fantastic stage and show they're not only players of potential, but they are ready to play on this stage now and won't let the team down."

With nothing but pride to play for in Belo Horizonte, Hodgson decided to name his team on the eve of the match.

Ben Foster will start in goal behind a back four of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill and Luke Shaw, who will become the youngest player to appear in this World Cup.

Lampard, captain for the night, will sit in front of the back four.

Barkley and Wilshere will play in central midfield, with Adam Lallana and James Milner on the flanks.

Daniel Sturridge will start his third straight match up front, meaning there are nine changes in total.

Hodgson confirmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Leighton Baines (hamstring) are unavailable for the match.

England are the "mother of football" in the view of Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto, who knows they will be desperate to restore some pride in their last World Cup match.

England have never lost all three World Cup group matches before - a fate Pinto knows they will be desperate to avoid on Tuesday.

"The mother of football cannot leave without points and that makes it very complex," the Costa Rica coach said.

"It makes the match very hard. England must take some pride out of Brazil. They cannot just leave with crossed arms.

"This means it will be a head-to-head, a one-to-one match. Those who come into the team will give their all and fight for their position. We want to be number one in the group and we deserve to be it.

"It seems to be that maybe England were taken by surprise. They haven't been lucky in finding the goal. They came to the box many times but did not score the goal.

"Above everything they will have pride. This will be aggressive. We will attack and have our own style of play. We will continue to do what we have done so far."

Pinto is planning to make two alterations from the side that beat Italy for the match at the Estadio Mineirao, where the country of 4.8million will see their last-16 opponents decided.

"It can have a huge impact in Costa Rica," Pinto said. "We went through critical moments and that has given us confidence and stabilised us emotionally. We want more.

"That is our dream and we are prepared physically, tactically and mentally to do that.

"It will be more complicated from here. Our opponents have seen us, they know us, what we have and what we don't have. We've improved."

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