Lampard set to lead out England

Frank Lampard is set to lead England in Steven Gerrard's enforced absence

Frank Lampard is set to lead England in Steven Gerrard's enforced absence

First published in National Sport News © by

Steven Gerrard has been ruled out of England's game against Chile, paving the way for Frank Lampard to enjoy his golden night by leading the national side out at Wembley.

England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed on Wednesday that Gerrard will not be risked against the Chileans because of a hip injury.

The Liverpool skipper had an injection in the area which has caused him some discomfort over the last two weeks, and he sat out training along with Kyle Walker, who has also been ruled out of the Chile game.

Given that Gerrard is 33, Hodgson's decision to rest his captain is a wise one, particularly as he will want the player fit and ready to take on Germany next week.

England are hopeful that Gerrard will be available for Tuesday night's game against their old foe, but it will be Lampard who leads Hodgson's men out this weekend.

Lampard is a minor concern for the game against Chile as he has a mild cold, but he trained on Wednesday and is on course to wear the armband on the night he picks up a golden cap to mark the century of appearances he brought up against Ukraine last month.

It will be a special night for the 35-year-old, whose two daughters Isla and Luna will be mascots.

For relatively new international players like Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, Lampard is an England icon.

"He has been superb," said the 31-year-old Southampton striker, who made his England debut in August.

"To be involved with players like Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard, who have played over 100 caps, is an honour.

"You can see why they have got 100 caps when you train with them every day. They are top professionals and top players.

"It is full credit to him. He fully deserves it."

Although Lampard has a strong chance of making it in to Hodgson's 23-man party for the World Cup, he may struggle to start a game in Brazil due to the swelling ranks of central midfielders at Hodgson's disposal.

One of them - Adam Lallana - is a player that Lambert knows better than anyone else in the 26-man party having played with him for over four years at Southampton.

With Gerrard and Michael Carrick both out, the chances of Lallana making his England debut have increased while fellow Saints man Jay Rodriguez also looks set to play some part against Chile due to the absence of Danny Welbeck.

Lambert enjoyed a memorable England debut when he came off the bench to score the winner against Scotland at Wembley, and he thinks either Lallana or Rodriguez could have the same impact.

"I am sure that if they get the chance, it's possible," Lambert said.

"They are absolutely great players. When they get the cap I am sure they will do well.

"They are very mentally strong. Even though they are happy to be here, they fully understand that you have to impress and they are determined to do that."

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge missed training on Wednesday because of bruising on his foot, increasing the chances of Lambert making his fourth England appearance on Friday.

Hodgson has always maintained he will use the game against Chile to experiment, particularly as he only has two further games before he has to select his provisional 30-man squad for Brazil.

Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are almost certain to feature at the back while Hodgson has the option of handing Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs his first cap in three years.

In midfield, 19-year-old Everton star Ross Barkley should start while Celtic's Fraser Forster is expected to get the nod in goal.

Jack Wilshere took part in training today after Hodgson had a 10-minute chat with his club manager Arsene Wenger at Arsenal's base, which England are using prior to Friday's friendly.

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