I’m not saying young players shouldn’t be given a chance. They should, but in a protected manner. Starting with one of Barkley, Sterling or Lallana as one of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 formation can actually inject the bit of pace required in the heat of Manaus against Italy. Pele after all exploded onto the scene as a 17 year old. However, more than that would be risky.
Having said all that, Hodgson will still have the option of calling on a fresh young skillful player to change the game in the 60-70th minute from the substitute’s bench.
Whilst I do feel that Hodgson will err on the caution side of things, I still expect him to unleash the young ones when they’re required. Michael Owen is seen as one of the heroes of the 1998 World Cup. However, Hoddle only started him for the first time in the group stage’s final game having been impressed by the teenager’s impact from the substitutes’ bench in the previous two matches. Hodgson will be expecting a similar impact from his young guns.
Many say it’s about time that England unleashed the young players onto the pitch; I personally feel it may be too soon for some of the lads to have such pressure on their shoulders.