Richards to start Dutch friendly
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Micah Richards will start England's friendly with Holland, while Andy Johnson will partner Wayne Rooney in attack.
Manchester City teenager Richards will start at right back in the Amsterdam ArenA in the absence of the injured Gary Neville.
In attack, Steve McClaren has opted to pair Everton striker Johnson with Rooney, while Paul Robinson keeps his place in goal after his gaffe in the last game against Croatia.
McClaren has also elected to stick with Steven Gerrard on the right-hand side of midfield, with Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard the central pairing.
Joe Cole will make his first England appearance since McClaren replaced Sven Goran Eriksson as coach.
McClaren revealed that Richards has quickly settled into the squad and is looking forward to seeing him make his senior debut.
"He's an exciting player, the new breed of player shall we say," said McClaren on Sky Sports News.
"He is big, strong athletic, very quick and has a fantastic leap on him.
"He has come into this environment and adapted very, very well. Straight away he has come in and not looked fazed. I've seen his face looking forward to the game."
The England coach is also keen to assess how Johnson will fare alongside Rooney after injury ruled the former Crystal Palace ace out of last month's games.
"We had Johnson, Lennon and Joe Cole missing from the last squad and they are players with pace that can beat people," continued McClaren.
"I've given Andy a chance along with Rooney and it's a good chance to look at him."
England team v Holland: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Carrick, J Cole, Johnson, Rooney.