Friendly Soccer Betting

Holland v England (15-Nov-2006)

Man City's Micah Richards will make his first England appearance at right-back in Wednesday's friendly match against Holland.

The 18-year-old defender will stand-in for Man United captain Gary Neville, who pulled out on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney will partner with Andy Johnson in attack, with the Everton striker earning his fifth international cap.

Joe Cole will play his first England game since the World Cup, next to Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick in midfield.

England manager Steve McClaren said he was convinced Richards had the skill to make the step up to international football.

"He is an exciting player, a new breed of player," McClaren said. "He is big, strong, athletic, very fast and has got a fantastic leap on him. He has come into this environment and is not fazed and is looking forward to the match."

McClaren also said he was excited by the idea of pairing Johnson on attack with Rooney.

"I think it is a good chance to see him alongside Rooney and a good opportunity to start with him," McClaren said.

He added: "We tried a few things in training. We wanted width and got that with Joe Cole, we wanted speed up front and got that with Andy."

Holland are quoted as bookie's favourites in the betting for today's game.