England playing tonight even though the Prem hasn’t started yet…

The debate whether we have to play a friendly so early in the season is a bit of a non-starter as FIFA decide on these dates, but at least it’s not a qualifier and the Dutch are almost in the same boat as us (the Eredivisie is two games old) – but the big difference is that they have already qualified for the World Cup and we haven’t. We’ll try to get a report up tomorrow, but as it’s a friendly there’s no live stuff planned for this evening; we’ll post the result as soon as we have it.

As something a bit different in the build up to South Africa, we’re going to follow the two dozen or so players who we think might make the final squad for next summer. An interesting fact is that the only player we’re following who doesn’t currently playing in the Premiership is David Beckham (who has been making some headlines of his own recently) – in fact, according to the font of all knowledge that is Wikipedia, there are more members of the current North Korean squad who play in Europe than there are in the England squad.

Basically what we’re going to do is this. Even though the Premiership has yet to start, there are a lot of games this weekend that should feature players from the squad that face the Dutch tonight – barring any injuries of course.

Top of the list are Man U v Birmingham (Sunday 1:30 Sky Sports) and Blackburn v Man City with four England squad members on show, followed by Chelsea v Hull (Saturday 12:45 Sky), Spurs v Liverpool (Sunday 4pm Sky), Aston Villa v Wigan and Wolves v West Ham (all with three England players). Everton v Arsenal (Saturday 5:15 ESPN)features Theo Walcott and Joleon Lescott and last of all (if he plays) David Beckham will be playing for LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders sometime on Sunday morning when we’re all tucked up in bed.

At the beginning of the following week, we’ll post one liners about the performances from the previous weekends that will outline goals, assists, injuries etc. and hopefully we’ll gradually get a clearer idea of who will make the final squad if/when we qualify.

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