sport

Hodgson: Norway will be tough

Roy Hodgson expects Norway to be "hard to beat" when they play England at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Only 13 of the 22-man squad trained at Arsenal's London Colney complex on Monday with many of the squad having suffered minor knocks at the weekend.

Jack Colback, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Rose and Gary Cahill suffered injuries over the weekend, while Fabian Delph, Calum Chambers, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson all undertook light recovery sessions indoors after playing for their respective clubs on Sunday.

England play Norway before heading to Switzerland for their opening European qualifier in Switzerland on September 8.

And Hodgson, whose new-look side will be without the recently retired Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, believes Norway will be the perfect level of opposition as they return to action following a disappointing World Cup campaign.

"Norway will be in the same situation as we are," said Hodgson.

"They've had some very good players - Morten Gamst Pedersen, Brede Hangeland, a group of players who have decided to retire or who are reaching the end.

"But they'll be hard to beat and it'll be an exceptionally tough game.

"There is a mood of negativity after what happened at the World Cup, and there's nothing I can do about that. But it won't help our boys.

"They'll go out against Norway and no matter how well prepared we get them and however keen they are to do well, they won't find it easy because Norway aren't a bad team.

"Anything other than a thrashing of Norway won't be particularly well-received. But if you ask me now what I think 'will you go out and thrash Norway?', I'd have to say, 'no I don't think we will."