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Rickie's chance to stake England claim
Updated 7:40am Wednesday 4th June 2014 in Sport
He is set to start the friendly against Ecuador in Miami - Lambert's first start for his country since last October.
Lambert didn't play at all in last Friday's 3-0 Wembley win against Peru, while ex-Saints colleague Luke Shaw was absent with a cold.
Shaw, though, is also set to start tonight in place of the rested Leighton Baines.
It will be the 18-year-old's second senior cap and his first start, having made his debut as a sub against Denmark at Wembley in March.
Lambert is expected to play as the lone striker with Wayne Rooney operating on the left wing.
Having missed the last three matches of the Premier League season through injury, Rooney's determination to get into top shape was highlighted by the fact he took two fitness coaches on a pre-tournament holiday to Portugal.
Rooney's dedication earned praise from the England manager but was seemingly not enough to get him match-fit for Friday's farewell friendly against Peru, where he was little more than a peripheral figure in a comfortable win.
Hodgson insisted he was pleased with the Manchester United striker's performance at Wembley but will give him another chance to blow away the cobwebs tonight, when 20,000 spectators are expected at the Sun Life Stadium to see England take on Ecuador.
"Wayne Rooney will start the game," Hodgson said. "I haven't spoken to him yet, but he will start the game."
Rooney could potentially be the only player to start both the Peru and Ecuador matches, with Hodgson planning to name a much-changed line-up in Florida.
The England boss has confirmed the inclusion of Phil Jones and ex-Saint Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as they step-up their return from injuries.
James Milner and Ben Foster are also in-line to start after doing the press activity for a match which will see Frank Lampard captain the national team just days after announcing he will leave Chelsea.
Saints star Adam Lallana, who started against Peru, is unlikely to start tonight.
"We're trying to focus hard on what it is possible for us to do, what we can do well and not get too hung up on the outcome," Hodgson said.
"We are taking a simple approach. If we play well then we think our players, if they play to the best of their abilities, and we get some luck, which everyone needs, then we can have a very good World Cup.
"We will focus on the things we can control. Who knows if we will have a good World Cup or bad one?
"But we will make sure we take every measure possible to help us have a good World Cup."
After Ecuador comes another friendly at the Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, with Honduras the final opponents before England jet off to Brazil.
The matches punctuate a week designed to help the players acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions they are set to face over the coming weeks, especially in their Group D opener against Italy on June 14 in Manaus.
"It was good to see the sun," Hodgson said, having seen his side forced inside by heavy storms in their first session on Monday.
"It was warm out there and the conditions are similar I think to what we'll encounter in Brazil.
"So it was absolutely perfect today and it is nice to get back to some degree of normality."
England's 23-man World Cup squad all trained on the eve of the game at the 75,540-seater stadium, as did standby players Jon Flanagan and John Stones.
Hodgson confirmed the defensive duo will leave the Three Lions camp at the end of the week, having on Monday submitted his World Cup squad to FIFA on Monday.
"We're happy obviously at this stage after having two-and-a-half weeks of training," he said after finalising his squad.
"We've not had any injuries and we've still got two further preparation matches, which we are hoping to come through as well.
"It would be marvellous to be on the plane to Brazil with all 23 because after this Miami part of our preparations the two young lads, Jon Flanagan and John Stones, will actually leave when we leave for Brazil."
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