Roy Hodgson has the tough task of bringing down the provisional 26-man England squad for Euro 2016 to 23 players over the weekend. Friday's international friendly match for the Three Lions against Australia, thus, is important for reasons more than one, and for Hodgson as well as the players in the team.
Will Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford be travelling to France for the European Championship, scheduled to start next month? The question is on everyone's minds and only a stunning performance from the 18-year-old forward on Friday will decide if he can make the cut in the final 23-man list for England.
Hodgson has also confirmed that Rashford will play a serious part in the encounter against the Socceroos. "There's no doubt that my initial intention was to choose between Sturridge, Rashford and possibly one other to play up front in the game,'' Hodgson has been quoted as saying by ESPN ahead of the match.
"With those two out [Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have been rested], it's pretty obvious that Rashford is going to play a serious part in the game."
Sturridge has a slight calf strain and the possibility of the Liverpool striker's participation in the game remains in doubt. Hodgson has also announced that Wayne Rooney will start from the bench in the match, while Southampton custodian Fraser Forster will replace Joe Hart between the sticks.
Manchester City's Fabian Delph, however, will miss the game owing to a groin strain. Hodgson has also said the midfielder will not make the cut in the 23-man final squad for Euro 2016. "Delph is not with us," the England manager was quoted as saying by BBC. "He's stayed in Manchester. That means he probably won't be in the 23."
While the game is a crucial one for England, Australia are also not going to take it lightly as the Socceroos prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"We're preparing for our World Cup campaign ahead," Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou was quoted as saying by ABC. "We're expecting a difficult game and there'll be players vying for positions so there'll be plenty of motivation for England to do well tomorrow and that's exactly what we want."
Where to watch live
England vs Australia is scheduled to kick off from the Stadium of Light at 7:45 p.m. BST (12:15 a.m. IST, 2:45 p.m. EST) on May 27.
In India, viewers can catch the game on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD.
In the UK and Ireland, viewers can catch the game on ITV 1 UK. The radio commentary will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live.
In the US, viewers can catch the game on Fox Sports 1 USA and Fox Deportes. Online streaming will be available on Fox Sports Go.
In Australia, the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 5 Australia. Online streaming is available on Foxtel Play.