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Loftus-Cheek set for England debut against Germany

Loftus-Cheek has made six Premier League appearances for Palace this season scoring no goals. Credit: PA

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to make his England debut in Friday's friendly against Germany, Press Association Sport understands.

The 21-year-old midfielder, currently on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea, earned his first senior call-up for the upcoming friendlies along with Tammy Abraham and Joe Gomez.

Gareth Southgate's men kick-off their World Cup preparations against Germany on Friday, when it is understood Loftus-Cheek will be handed a starting role.

Brazil arrive at Wembley next Tuesday for the final match of 2017 - a year the Three Lions end without a string of key players.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks have all pulled out of the squad through injury, as have Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph.

Furthermore, Gary Cahill is a doubt for injury-hit England after missing training on the eve of the friendly with a back complaint.

Burnley's Jack Cork, who has been called up by the senior team for the first time, was among those training at St George's Park.

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Hodgson challenges Palace to find the right balance

Hodgson compared football to a succession of 'parties and funerals.' Credit: PA

Roy Hodgson says it is crucial his Crystal Palace players find the right balance after comparing the weekly ups and downs of life in the Premier League to "a succession of parties and funerals".

The Eagles visit Newcastle on Saturday hoping to build on last weekend's 2-1 win over champions Chelsea, where they put their first points and first goals on the board at the eighth attempt.

The result has changed perceptions about Palace's season, from a side certain to be relegated to one expecting to survive.

Wilfried Zaha's return, combined with strong performances from Andros Townsend and Mamadou Sakho, lifted Palace and they will be further strengthened at St James' Park by the expected comebacks of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and on-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Hodgson has experienced plenty of highs and lows in his long coaching career and said: "Football's a constant succession of parties and funerals.

"It's about victories and defeats. That's never going to change. You have to be careful as a coach or manager to even those things out a little bit and not allow people to think every defeat is some sort of funeral atmosphere or every win is euphoria.

"We've got to get somewhere in between those two things.

"Newcastle are a good footballing team. I watched them at Southampton (where they drew last weekend) and they were every bit as good as I expected. They are a well-organised team with a clear idea of what they want to do with and without the ball. We have to give exactly the same performance that we did against Chelsea."

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Kante and Morata doubts for Chelsea's clash with Palace

Kante came off in the first half of France's 1-0 win in Bulgaria on Saturday. Credit: PA

Chelsea could be without N'Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Premier League champions are waiting to learn the full extent of midfielder Kante's hamstring injury sustained while on international duty with France.

And, while the Blues are optimistic Morata's hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, head coach Antonio Conte could opt to give the Spain striker and Kante additional rest ahead of next week's Champions League clash at home to Roma.

Kante came off in the first half of France's 1-0 win in Bulgaria on Saturday and withdrew from Les Bleus' squad to face Belarus on Tuesday night.

The former Leicester midfielder is expected to return to Chelsea's Surrey training base on Tuesday or Wednesday for assessment on the injury.

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