Fabio Capello intends to look at some of his fringe players against Mexico after deciding to rest those involved in the FA Cup final.
The England manager has been working with his provisional World Cup squad at a training camp in Irdning, Austria, over the past week.
They will jet back to Wembley for Monday's friendly as Capello begins to contemplate who he will select in a final 23-man party that must be announced by 1st June.
But the Italian will not call on any of his four Chelsea players, or Portsmouth goalkeeper David James, after they were given a few days' extra rest following the FA Cup final.
Joe Cole will therefore have to wait for a chance to impress, while his club-mates John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will also sit out.
"The Chelsea players and David James will not play against Mexico," confirmed Capello.
"I needed them to train and stay with us. I also needed to check their physical situation so these five players won't play."
Capello is keen to assess the form of his key men but also knows that he must give opportunities to other players further down the pecking order.
The likes of Adam Johnson, Michael Dawson, Ledley King and Jamie Carragher could therefore feature, while Capello may decide to test out a different formation as well.
"I will experiment against Mexico," he said.
"It is important to see how some of these perform on the pitch."
Capello insists there are still places up for grabs, although he has a good idea of the squad he will be taking to South Africa next month.
"In my mind I more or less know the names of the 23 players who will be with me," he said.
"But we have to wait because you never know whether someone gets injured."
Capello's methodical preparations for the World Cup may already be in full swing but he admits there have been no penalties practised as yet.
"It is too early to practise penalties," he reflected.
"In any case, you could prepare for penalties and practise every day in training. But in a match it is different.
"Shooting to win is not the same as shooting in training.
"In training, the keeper is not very big. When you need to score to win, the keeper is really big and the goal is very small."