Result and reaction as Ollie Watkins’ goal secures Three Lions victory

England edged past Australia in an international friendly at Wembley to keep their recent winning run alive and give them a touch of momentum heading into a crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy next week.

After Gareth Southgate named an inexperienced starting XI to take on the Socceroos, the Three Lions took their time to settle. The controlled possession but failed to make much of an impact in the first half with Ollie Watkins – leading the line in the absence of Harry Kane – missing two great chances.

At the other end of the pitch, Australia should have gone ahead through Ryan Strain whose shto from the right side of the box was beautifully kept out by a back-tracking Lewis Dunk.

After the break things were different. England upped the tempo and operated higher up the pitch. Trent Alexander-Arnold found Jack Grealish in the box and the Man City man picked out Watkins at the far post who tapped in the winner.

Relive the action from Wembley and get all the latest odds and tips for the match right here:

England vs Australia live

Ollie Watkins and Lewis Dunk emerge with credit on England’s audition night against Australia

England defeat Australia 1-0 in an international friendly at Wembley

Levi Colwill and Eddie Nketiah made Three Lions debuts

90+3’ FULL-TIME! – England maintain their unbeaten run (ENG 1-0 AUS)

57’ GOAL! – Watkins taps in Grealish’s pass (ENG 1-0 AUS)

45’ CHANCE! – Dunk blocks Strain’s shot to keep things level (ENG 0-0 AUS)

30’ CHANCE! – Watkins’ effort is cleared off the line (ENG 0-0 AUS)

21’ CLOSE! – Duke’s volley goes wide from inside the box (ENG 0-0 AUS)

12’ SAVE! – Johnstone called into action from long range (ENG 0-0 AUS)

Ollie Watkins and Lewis Dunk emerge with credit on England’s audition night against Australia

22:17 , Mike Jones

On a night billed as an audition for England’s fringe players, with only five more games before Gareth Southgate names his Euro 2024 squad, Ollie Watkins and Lewis Dunk were the two who emerged with credit from this unconvincing 1-0 friendly win over Australia.

Watkins tapped in the winning goal just before the hour to push his claim for a role as poacher; Dunk had earlier prevented a certain goal at the other end and is emerging as a much-needed new character in central defence to partner John Stones. But elsewhere there were some fluffed lines, and perhaps Gareth Southgate’s main learning was that for all the quality in their ranks, England are not quite the same without Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and their handful of leading lights.

Levi Colwill was understandably nervous on his Egnalnd debut and conceded possession too easily. Trent Alexander-Arnold had limited impact in his hybrid fullback-midifeld role. And it was a rough night for Jordan Henderson, England’s captain, who had little effect on the match and left the pitch after an hour to loud boos around Wembley. It was certainly jarring to see “Al-Ettifaq” on the teamsheet beside his name, and England fans presumably don’t buy his claim that he moved to Saudi Arabia to grow the game and change attitudes from the inside.

Watkins and Dunk emerge with credit on England’s audition night against Australia

FT England 1-0 Australia

22:14 , Mike Jones

England goalscorer Ollie Watkins on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Obviously we didn’t make it easy for ourselves, but it’s the first time for us all playing together. Not many of us have a lot of caps. There were only a few with more experience and in the squad recently.

“It was tough and Australia played well and they didn’t make it easy for us. But you want games like that, you want a real challenge. An all-round good night.

“They’re the best ones, the tap-ins, I’ll take it all day. At the end of the day it says your name on the Sky Sports app, and that’s all that matters so I’ll take it.

“Whenever I have had the opportunity in an England shirt I have done well. I know I can play at the highest level with these players. Whenever I go on the field I just try and do that.”

Ollie Watkins gives England win over Australia as Jordan Henderson booed

22:12 , Mike Jones

Jordan Henderson was booed by some England fans on a night when Ollie Watkins helped Gareth Southgate’s much-changed side secure an unconvincing 1-0 win against Australia.

A sold-out Wembley crowd watched a surprisingly hard-fought friendly between these great sporting rivals on Friday night as the hosts experimented with Euro 2024 in mind.

England can wrap up qualification against Italy on Tuesday night and Watkins boosted his chances of being on the plane to Germany with a goal and solid display.

Ollie Watkins gives England win over Australia as Jordan Henderson booed

FT England 1-0 Australia

22:08 , Mike Jones

Ollie Watkins has scored in consecutive England appearances, with these coming 563 days apart. It’s the biggest gap between consecutive scoring appearances for the Three Lions since Mike O’Grady between 1962 and 1969 (2,335 days).

FT England 1-0 Australia

22:04 , Mike Jones

More from Watkins: “I am playing with top players, I knew I’d get another chance. There was a few times before I got called up and didn’t think I deserved it but now I am coming in confident in myself off the back of good form.

“I was not nervous and just tried to perform in front of all these fans. I scored, it was a good night. There’s so many good forwards around scoring goals and it is about taking your opportunity when you are on the pitch.

“It was a tough game. A lot of us haven’t played together before. We got the goal and saw it out. There’s obviously a lot to work on.”

FT England 1-0 Australia

21:58 , Mike Jones

Reaction from England goal scorer Ollie Watkins, who spoke to Channel 4: “It is always an honour putting on this shirt. It has been a long time coming.

“I have been waiting a long time for the next call up. I was looking forward to it and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip.

“Jack [Grealish] has gone to shoot and he has dragged it. I don’t known if it was going in, my first thought it was going in and I took it off him. I was looking at him and saying ‘not sure if it was going in’.”

FT England 1-0 Australia

21:51 , Mike Jones

Former England goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, speaking on BBC 5Live:

“Let’s be frank, it was a really poor watch. There was no tempo to the game, or cutting edge. There was nothing in the final third.

“These are the exciting players, James Maddison, Jarrod Bowen, Ollie Watkins who got the goal, but nobody really shone tonight.

“It was disjointed, there was no cohesions.”

FT England 1-0 Australia

21:49 , Mike Jones

We’ll see who, if any, of the starting XI also line-up for the match against Italy on Tuesday night. Trent Alexander-Arnold was very good, James Maddison controlled much of England’s attacking play and Lewis Dunk had another solid night in central defence.

Full-time! England 1-0 Australia

21:39 , Mike Jones

90+3 mins: There goes the whistle. England’s much changed and inexperienced line-up get the job done against Australia in a far from vintage performance.

Ollie Watkins’ goal is the difference at Wembley and Gareth Southgate will have learned some valuable lessons about the next group of players coming through the ranks.

Australia made it a tough game for the Three Lions but in the end the hosts get over the line.

England 1-0 Australia

21:37 , Mike Jones

90 mins: Three minutes of added time to play at Wembley.

England 1-0 Australia

21:33 , Mike Jones

87 mins: A looping corner ball is sent into the penalty area by Australia and it’s won in the air but a gold shirt. The ball is nodded towards goal but Sam Johnstone drops to his right and palms the ball away before Phil Foden runs it clear.

England 1-0 Australia

21:31 , Mike Jones

84 mins: Australia make a double change with Awer Mabil and Aziz Behich on for Kye Rowles and Martin Boyle.

England 1-0 Australia

21:26 , Mike Jones

81 mins: Martin Boyle curls a corner ball into the middle of the box and finds Connor Metcalfe. He gets a free header but misses the target and the chance goes begging for Australia to equalise.

England 1-0 Australia

21:24 , Mike Jones

78 mins: Jackson Irvine isn’t happy that England are awarded a throw in and gives the referee a few verbals. She pulls out a yellow card and books the Australian midfielder for dissent.

England 1-0 Australia

21:20 , Mike Jones

75 mins: More changes from Gareth Southgate. Phil Foden replaces James Maddison and Ollie Watkins heads off to be replaced with Eddie Nketiah who makes his England debut.

England 1-0 Australia

21:18 , Mike Jones

72 mins: Close! Kalvin Phillips moves the ball out wide to Kieran Trippier who slips it forward for Jarrod Bowen. Bowen then hooks a cross into the middle of the box where James Maddison sticks out his right leg.

He tries to turn the ball towards goal but misses it and Australia work the ball clear.

England 1-0 Australia

21:15 , Mike Jones

69 mins: Craig Goodwin pulls the ball into the middle of the pitch as Australia stride forward. He sends it to Keanu Baccus who fizzes a shot at goal from range and pulls it wide of the far post.

England 1-0 Australia

21:11 , Mike Jones

66 mins: James Maddison’s corner drops to Ollie Watkins who shoots and sees the effort deflected. Trent Alexander-Arnold recovers the ball, nips into the box and shoots himself but his shot is also blocked and bounces out of play.

England 1-0 Australia

21:10 , Mike Jones

63 mins: England’s four substitutes have more international caps than the total amount from the starting XI. Gareth Southgate is bringing on the experience to try and close out this match.

Marcus Rashford takes on Ryan Strain with his first real involvement in the game and wins England a corner.

England 1-0 Australia

21:07 , Mike Jones

60 mins: At the hour mark, Gareth Southgate makes quadruple change for England.

Marcus Rashford, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Phillips and John Stones all come on to replace Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Fikayo Tomori and Jack Grealish.

GOAL! England 1-0 Australia (Watkins, 57’)⚽️

21:04 , Mike Jones

57 mins: What do I know?

James Maddison whips free kick into the box that gets headed back out to Trent Alexander-Arnold. He delivers a simple cross back into the middle and finds Jack Grealish.

Grealish sends the ball to the far post inside the six-yard area where Ollie Watkins pops up to tap the ball home.

England 0-0 Australia

21:02 , Mike Jones

54 mins: England have been more positive since the restart but they’re still not linking very well in the final third. They’ve created very little to threaten Mat Ryan in goal.

England 0-0 Australia

20:57 , Mike Jones

51 mins: James Maddison curls a corner ball into the box but Harry Souttar is on hand to nod it away. Trent Alexander-Arnold collects the loose ball and shoots from range.

His effort strikes Jack Grealish in the back and the ball deflects wide of the target.

England 0-0 Australia

20:55 , Mike Jones

48 mins: Levi Colwill takes hold of the loose bal in the middle of the pitch and drives it forward. He attempts to slip Ollie Watkins into the box but just ends up giving the ball away.

Australia transition it to the other end of the pitch nicely and pass the ball out to Craig Goodwin on the left wing. He twists and tricks his way into space before a cross is booted into the stands by Fikayo Tomori.

Second half! England 0-0 Australia

20:51 , Mike Jones

Australia get the match back underway. No changes made by Gareth Southgate or Graham Arnold at the break. Will we see the deadlock broken soon?

HT England 0-0 Australia

20:45 , Mike Jones

Despite only having 33% of possession in that first half, Australia created seven chances on goal, more than double the amount England had.

Ryan Strain’s effort right at the end of the half was probably the best of those but Lewis Dunk came to the rescue.

HT England 0-0 Australia

20:40 , Mike Jones

Half-time! England 0-0 Australia

20:35 , Mike Jones

45+1 mins: The first half comes to an end with things still goalless. Australia have created a few decent chances but the big moments have fallen to Ollie Watkins.

He missed an early opportunity to put the Three Lions in front before having another effort cleared off the line. An increase to the tempo of play will work well for Gareth Southgate’s side.

There are things to improve after the break.

England 0-0 Australia

20:33 , Mike Jones

45 mins: Chance! A threaded pass from Australia sees Martin Boyle played in behind the England line. He holds the ball up on his way into the box before releasing it into space for Ryan Strain.

Strain takes a touch then shoots but Lewis Dunk gets back in time to make a vital block for the hosts.

England 0-0 Australia

20:31 , Mike Jones

42 mins: England’s first corner of the game is knocked short to Trent Alexander-Arnold who whips a first time cross into the box. Jarrod Bowen lunges to get to the ball with a full-length dive and flicks it towards the target with his head.

The ball loops into the air and is no trouble for Mat Ryan to cling on to.

England 0-0 Australia

20:28 , Mike Jones

39 mins: Ryan Strain joins Conor Gallagher in the book after Jack Grealish works the ball around the full-back and tries to sprint pass. Strain almost wrestles him to the ground and it’s a clear booking.

James Maddison curls the free kick into the box but Harry Souttar is on hand to flick the ball to safety.

England 0-0 Australia

20:25 , Mike Jones

36 mins: A switch of play from the Socceroos sees the ball come over to Martin Boyle who brings the ball down and quickly shimmies into the penalty area.

Boyle checks to the right and shoots but can’t control the effort sending it wide of the target.

England 0-0 Australia

20:23 , Mike Jones

33 mins: Conor Gallagher gets outmuscled by Craig Goodwin who drives Australia towards the England box. Trying to recover, Gallagher leaps into a tackle and brings down the man earning himself a yellow card in the process.

The resultant free kick is flicked into the penalty area but Sam Johnstone comes out to claim the ball confidently enough.

England 0-0 Australia

20:18 , Mike Jones

30 mins: Chance! England should be one up. Jack Grealish offloads the ball to James Maddison who threads it through the Australian defence with perfection.

Ollie Watkins is the willing runner. He collects the ball and shifts it around Mat Ryan. There’s an open goal ahead of him and Watkins turns the ball towards goal only for his slowly rolling shot to get cleared off the line!

England 0-0 Australia

20:16 , Mike Jones

27 mins: Fikayo Tomori clears a throw in from inside the box and nods the ball behind for a corner. Martin Boyle swings the set piece into the middle but the first ball is dealt with well.

Australia recycle the loose ball and Lewis Dunk’s header is knocked down to Craig Goodwin. He takes a snapshot and just lifts the effort over the top!

England 0-0 Australia

20:13 , Mike Jones

24 mins: Oh wow. Levi Colwill slips the ball down the line to Jack Grealish who works it forward for James Maddison cutting across from a central position.

Maddison takes control of the ball, nips into the box then totally miscues his shot and spoons the ball out of play.

England 0-0 Australia

20:09 , Mike Jones

21 mins: Close! Australia look the more likely team to score here. Martin Boyle brings the ball down the right channel and flicks a lovely cross into the box.

Mitchell Duke meets the ball on the volley and smokes his effort just wide of the far post!

England 0-0 Australia

20:06 , Mike Jones

18 mins: Kye Rowles takes a knock an needs a bit of treatment for the left side of his face. Australia are down to 10-men for the time being as the defender gets a lot of strapping taped around his head.

England press their advantage but can’t find a way through. Jack Grealish is dispossessed inside the box by Harry Souttar who clears his lines.

England 0-0 Australia

20:04 , Mike Jones

15 mins: The rain is pouring down at Wembley adding an extra dimension to the game with the ball skipping across the turf. Trent Alexander-Arnold brings the ball into midfield and slips a forward pass through the lines.

Ollie Watkins chases after it but Mat Ryan is quickly off his line to get to the loose ball first.

England 0-0 Australia

20:01 , Mike Jones

12 mins: Save! England are slow to close down the ball inside their own final third as Australia come forward down the left wing. The ball is given to Keanu Baccus who blazes a shot at goal from a long way out.

He hits it well and forces Sam Johnstone into a leaping stop to his left, the goalkeeper palming the ball wide of the goal.

England 0-0 Australia

19:59 , Mike Jones

9 mins: Ollie Watkins will be disappointed about that missed chance. He had a great opportunity to send England in front but couldm’t shift his feet in time.

Trying to oust Harry Kane as striker is a difficult task and he needs to be taking those chances.

England 0-0 Australia

19:56 , Mike Jones

6 mins: England look to be slowly building themselves into the game as this new look line-up attempts to gel with each other.

Close! Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher combine brilliantly on the right wing to slip Gallagher into the box. He passes it across the six-yard box where James Maddison lunges for the ball.

He misses it and the loose ball skips through Ollie Watkins’ legs before Australia scramble it away.

England 0-0 Australia

19:51 , Mike Jones

3 mins: Australia collect the ball and work it over to the right side of the pitch where they win a couple of throw ins. The second is sent into the box but is dealt with by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

England are on the back foot here.

Kick off! England 0-0 Australia

19:48 , Mike Jones

Jordan Henderson kicks off the match and England work the ball over to the right wing. Ollie Watkins tries to win the aerial ball and takes an elbow to the cheek in the process.

England vs Australia

19:41 , Mike Jones

Here come the teams.

The players make their way out of the tunnel and onto the pitch and Wembley. Gareth Southgate has named a team that lacks some international experience.

How will they cope against Australia tonight?

Kick off is up next…

England vs Australia

19:40 , Mike Jones

England have only lost one of their seven previous matches against Australia (four wins, two draws) – a 3-1 defeat at Upton Park in February 2003 with Francis Jeffers scoring in his only cap and Wayne Rooney making his debut that game.

This is the first meeting between England and Australia since May 2016 in a friendly at the Stadium of Light, won 2-1 by England with goals from Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney.

England vs Australia

19:35 , Mike Jones

England have scored 19 goals in six games in 2023 (3.2 per game), only three fewer than they scored in 13 games in 2022 (22).

It’s currently only the second year in the last 60 years that England are averaging three or more goals per game, along with 2019 (38 goals in ten games, 3.8 per game).

England vs Australia

19:30 , Mike Jones

Harry Kane has scored 22 goals in 31 England appearances at Wembley, just one behind the record for goals scored at the national stadium for the Three Lions, set by Bobby Charlton, who scored 23 times in 44 games there between 1958 and 1970.

Both Kane (Bayern Munich) and Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid) scored in England’s last game against Scotland, but only one player has netted at Wembley this century while playing for a non-English team, with Jadon Sancho doing so in November 2020 against the Republic of Ireland while playing for Borussia Dortmund.

Harry Kane: ‘Ronaldo and Messi got better after 30 – my career is only at half-time’

19:25 , Mike Jones

Harry Kane doesn’t drink. He enjoyed Bayern Munich’s annual trip to Oktoberfest in full lederhosen and ate a giant pretzel, but his jug of beer was barely touched. At the hotel where he lives, meals are carefully planned by his chef: breakfast is an omelette or yoghurt and granola; lunch and dinner consists of salad and vegetables topped off by a rotating carousel of white fish, chicken or beef. Sometimes he has salmon as a treat.

He lives away from his wife and children, in a country where he does not speak the language after only a handful of lessons, in a city he cannot enjoy without being mobbed. His family will move over but for now it is a solitary, unremitting existence: eat, sleep, play, recover, repeat. It is not quite the life of a monk, but when children dream of becoming England captain, they probably don’t dream of this.

Harry Kane: ‘Ronaldo and Messi got better after 30 – my career is only at half-time’

Grealish on winning an international trophy

19:20 , Mike Jones

England midfielder Jack Grealish hopes he can add an international trophy to go with the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League he won last year with Manchester City.

“I don’t mean this to sound weird but it is difficult in a way because you have such a high of winning the treble and then you do think ‘what would ever top that?’” he said.

“Obviously doing something at international level definitely would.”

England vs Australia

19:15 , Mike Jones

Australia have won one of their last five games in all competitions (one draw, three defeats), after having won four of their five games before this run (one loss).

They’ve shipped nine goals in these five games, as many as in their previous 10 combined.

England vs Australia

19:10 , Mike Jones

Lewis Dunk earned his second England cap against Scotland in September, four years and 301 days after his first cap against the USA in November 2018.

It is the biggest gap between a player’s first two starts for England since Frank Lampard Sr. between October 1972 and May 1980 (7 years, 233 days).

England have won every single game when a Brighton player has featured (9/9), the most games to have featured a player from a specific club with the Three Lions winning every game.

Cardiff, Glasgow, Dublin… The Euro 2028 final should be staged anywhere but Wembley

19:05 , Mike Jones

You already know where the Euro 2028 final will be played. You don’t know know because it hasn’t been announced yet. But when I tell you that the UK and Ireland are hosting the tournament, and when I show you the list of 10 allocated venues, then you already know.

Wembley is the biggest stadium in the best-connected city of the largest host nation. It is the greatest revenue generator. It is the sort of stadium that assumes it will host a final, the sort that thinks other venues wouldn’t want all that pressure and attention anyway.

The English FA will pull rank here and that is understandable, to an extent. After all, Wembley can call upon history and experience, the site having hosted three European Championship finals before: one at the old Wembley in 1996, and both the men’s and women’s finals at the new Wembley in 2021 and 2022.

Cardiff, Glasgow, Dublin… The Euro 2028 final should be staged anywhere but Wembley

England vs Australia

19:00 , Mike Jones

England are unbeaten in their last 17 games in all competitions at Wembley, with 13 wins and four draws, since a 1-0 defeat to Denmark in October 2020.

It is their best unbeaten run there since going 24 without defeat between September 1984 and May 1990.

England vs Australia

18:55 , Mike Jones

Gareth Southgate said tonight’s match with Australia renews “one of the great sporting rivalries” and England must take the Socceroos seriously.

“Our mindset has got to be spot on,” he added, “Equally, we’ve still got a bit of work to do to qualify for a European Championship.

“We have good players and we need to give people opportunities to show what they can do.”

England vs Australia

18:51 , Mike Jones

Gareth Southgate has named a new look starting XI. Sam Johnstone starts in goal with Levi Colwill making his England debut while Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen start in the forward line.

England vs Australia line-ups

18:46 , Mike Jones

England XI: Johnstone, Alexander-Arnold, Tomori, Dunk, Colwill, Gallagher, Henderson, Maddison, Bowen, Watkins, Grealish

Australia XI: Ryan, Strain, Souttar, Burgess, Rowles, Baccus, Irvine, Metcalfe, Boyle, Duke, Goodwin

England vs Australia

18:40 , Mike Jones

Australia are underdogs on Friday having beaten England only once in seven meetings, a 3-1 victory at Upton Park in 2003.

Their most recent meeting saw them lose 2-1 at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland in 2016.

FA slammed over decision not to light up Wembley in Israel flag colours

18:35 , Mike Jones

The Football Association has been criticised by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer for the “extremely disappointing” decision not to light up the Wembley arch in the colours of the Israeli flag before Friday’s friendly between England and Australia.

Following attacks by Hamas militants on the country’s territory last weekend, the British Government had written to UK sports bodies encouraging them to mark events in Israel appropriately.

The Hamas attacks have led to the Israeli government responding with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, with a ground invasion also reported to be a possibility.

FA slammed over decision not to light up Wembley in Israel flag colours

FA announces how it is acknowledging the conflicts in Israel and Palestine

18:30 , Mike Jones

The FA has released a statement announcing how they are going to acknowledge the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine which has been in the news this week.

The statement reads: “On Friday evening, we will remember the innocent victims of the devastating events in Israel and Palestine.

“Our thoughts are with them, and their families and friends in England and Australia and with all the communities who are affected by this ongoing conflict. We stand for humanity and an end to the death, violence, fear and suffering.

“England and Australia players will wear black armbands during their match at Wembley Stadium and there will also be a period of silence held before kick off.

“Following discussions with partners and external stakeholders, we will only permit flags, replica kits and other representations of nationality for the competing nations inside Wembley Stadium for the upcoming matches against Australia [13 Oct] and Italy [17 Oct].

“The British Red Cross have also launched an emergency appeal to support the people affected by the humanitarian crisis in the region, and we will promote this appeal within the stadium on Friday.”

England’s Ollie Watkins: ‘I used to shop in Sainsbury’s … then I came to Aston Villa and I couldn’t’

18:25 , Mike Jones

Ollie Watkins is the man of the moment: seven goals and four assists this season in a free-flowing Aston Villa side, including a recent hat-trick against Brighton in front of Gareth Southgate, meant it wasn’t a surprise when he was called up to play for England last week, 18 months after his last cap.

Except that three weeks ago, he wasn’t the man at all. He still hadn’t scored in the Premier League. He was struggling to take chances and he was getting some stick, which is why he celebrated his first league goal of the season, against Chelsea in late September, with his fingers in his ears. Zoom out and his form has been exceptional for a year, but criticism is never far away.

“I think all fans are quite fickle,” Watkins says. “If you go a few games without a goal, people will be saying, ‘he’s on a drought, he can’t score’. Then I score four goals in two games and everyone kind of loves you.”

Ollie Watkins: ‘I used to shop in Sainsbury’s … I came to Villa and I couldn’t’

England vs Australia

18:20 , Mike Jones

Australia last faced a European nation in a friendly in June 2018, beating Hungary 2-1.

Indeed, the Socceroos have won their last two friendlies with European nations (also 4-0 versus Czechia in June 2018), after losing nine of their previous 12 (won one, drawn two).

Ange Postecoglou inspires Australia ahead of Three Lions clash

18:15 , Mike Jones

Australia manager Graham Arnold says he used Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou to try and inspire his side before their friendly against England.

Arnold spoke to Postecoglou and former Australia head coach Guus Hiddink asking them to speak to his players before tonight’s game.

“The speeches by Ange were very similar to what we’ve been saying for years,” said Arnold, “Doing it for the kids in Australia, the nation and the supporters.”

England vs Australia

18:10 , Mike Jones

England and Australia will face at Wembley for the very first time. Only two nations have ever beaten the Three Lions in their first game against them at the national stadium – Hungary in 1953 (6-3) and Sweden in 1959 (3-2).

Experimental England side must have right mindset against Australia, says Southgate

18:05 , Mike Jones

Gareth Southgate wants England’s players to be mentally “spot on” and grab their opportunity to impress as he experiments against old sporting rivals Australia.

The Three Lions can seal their place at next summer’s European Championships when they host holders Italy at Wembley in Tuesday’s Group C encounter.

Experimental England side must have right mindset against Australia, says Southgate

England vs Australia prediction

18:00 , Mike Jones

Perhaps the game might get a bit more spicy than some previous friendlies have been noted for, on account of the natural sporting rivalry that occurs between these two nations, but ultimately the gap in quality should prove significant.

England 3-1 Australia.

England vs Australia predicted line-ups

17:55 , Mike Jones

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Guehi, Colwill, Trippier; Rice, Alexander-Arnold, Bellingham; Bowen, Kane, Maddison

Australia XI: Ryan; Miller, Rowles, Burgess, Behich; Irvine, Luongo, Baccus, O’Neill; Duke, Mabil

England vs Australia team news

17:50 , Mike Jones

Gareth Southgate might opt to shuffle the pack before the Italy match but he has habitually kept a fairly consistent core and just altered a few players around them.

As such, the in-form Jarrod Bowen will be one hoping to get a chance, while Trent Alexander-Arnold may get another run-out in midfield in a non-competitive environment having missed out on the last international break through injury.

Levi Colwill has impressed for Chelsea so could get a look-in in defence, be it centrally or on the left given no natural left-backs are in the squad.

Australia are without a host of regulars including Ajdin Hrustic, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren and Bailey Wright – plus Aaron Mooy, who has retired.

How to watch England vs Australia

17:45 , Mike Jones

The Three Lions face the Socceroos on Friday 13 October 2023 at Wembley, with kick-off set for 7:45pm BST.

All of England’s fixtures outside of international tournaments are for now screened free to air on Channel 4, and can be streamed on the Channel 4 website and app.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch major sporting events then you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN roundup is here to help: get great deals on the best VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are and also with the terms of their service provider.

England vs Australia

17:18 , Mike Jones

Good evening and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of England vs Australia.

The Three Lions are back in action at Wembley as they play host to the Socceroos in a warm-up to Tuesday night’s crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy. Australia reached the last-16 stage of the World Cup, making it out of a tricky group in the process, so won’t be easy opponents this evening. They’ll want to impress against the old enemy and will come into the match with a strong side that should keep England on their toes.

Gareth Southgate meanwhile may decide to take the opportunity to play some of the newer members of the squad. Preparations continue for next summer’s European Championship and the England boss may decide to switch up formations or personnel this evening in a rare international friendly.

Kick off is at 7.45pm and we’ll have all the action throughout the night including team news when it drops shortly so stick around as England host Australia at Wembley.


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