at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Donetsk, Ukraine – England have no further injury problems as they get ready to start their Euro 2012 campaign against France, manager Roy Hodgson confirmed Sunday.
Hodgson reported a full-strength squad for Monday's group D match, with Chelsea defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole, who had both been worries, joining in final training in the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Terry had been labouring with an Achilles tendon problem, while Cole has recovered from an upset stomach.
Hodgson has already had to replace defender Gary Cahill and midfielders Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry because of injuries. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is suspended for England's first two games.
Hodgson said England had respect for France, who are on a run of 21 games without defeat. But his players felt confident going into a match expected to be played in baking heat.
“It is a stern challenge,” he said. “We are facing a team in excellent form and 21 matches unbeaten at any level is a fine achievement, but when you come to European Championships or World Cups, having good or bad form isn't the factor that's decisive.
“It's how your team plays on the night, how people adjust to the circumstances – they'll be slightly different here in Donetsk – and it's about what you can do as a team. We have full respect for the French, but the players are confident in their own ability.”
Since Hodgson's appointment on May 1, England have won two games and have not conceded a goal to lift the mood ahead of the match.
“It's always nice to hear that your players are confident and they are going out with the intention to win the game. In a tournament like this that is the attitude we will need,” he said. – Sapa-dpa