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Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will start for England in their friendly against the Netherlands on 29 March. Such an appearance will mark the injury-plagued Liverpool striker's first in international football since he featured for 89 minutes of a narrow post-World Cup victory over Norway back in September 2014.
Sturridge has suffered from a myriad of fitness problems since then, withdrawing from the squad for matches against Lithuania and Italy last year. He returned to Premier League action after two months out in mid-February and has since made eight appearances in all competitions, scoring in the 6-0 rout of lowly Aston Villa in addition to the Europa League last-16 first-leg victory over Manchester United and last week's five-goal defeat at Southampton.
Joining him in the starting line-up at Wembley will be club teammate James Milner, who is set to takeover from Gary Cahill and captain the side in the absence of regular skipper Wayne Rooney. Hodgson has previously hinted that he will make widespread changes for the visit of Danny Blind's side in order to fully assess his squad with their Euro 2016 opener against Russia now less than three months away, but that thinking may now alter slightly after such an impressive performance in Germany.
"I hint at a lot of things and sometimes I regret some of the hints I put out there," the manager said when questioned regarding his team selection at a pre-match press conference.
"There will be some changes, how wholesale those changes will be you'll have to wait and see. As you can see James is with me and he will captain the team tomorrow. He didn't play against Germany so that's one obvious change.
"A guy like Daniel Sturridge will come into the team on this occasion. We're pleased to welcome him back after his long lay-off, at least from England duty. The other changes, we'll have to wait and see and I prefer not to dwell on that side of things."
Another player likely to feature against the Netherlands is Danny Drinkwater. The in-form midfielder was handed his first international call-up this month after playing a pivotal role in Leicester City's surprising elevation from relegation fodder to Premier League title contenders.
"He might make his debut, yes," Hodgson replied when asked if the 26-year-old could make his first appearance for England. He repeated the same answer with a wry smile when asked if that debut could come from the start. Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster looks set to win only his fifth senior cap with Joe Hart suffering from a calf injury and Jack Butland having fractured his ankle during the first half in Berlin.