I think Fabio Capello should have picked as many of his first team against Japan as he possibly could. Of course they play together sporadically over the course of the season, but they now need to try and gel in the run-up to their campaign. At this stage, there is nothing to be gained by rewarding the fringe members of the provisional squad with a cap before they go home.
The friendly would just be a waste of time if it was going to be played that way. Many of those players are sure to be involved in future squads and qualifying campaigns anyway.
One player who will be missing the match in Graz is Gareth Barry. After the uneven display against Mexico on Monday many pointed to his absence as a major worry ahead of the tournament.
It's true that he is employed to do a specific job in the midfield, and allow Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to play their game, but I'm not convinced he would be missed all that much if his injury kept him out of the squad.
When England have played the top nations under Capello like Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands, they have been completely outpassed in midfield every time, which says to me that Barry isn't able to break the game up enough against that calibre of opposition.
If anything, it could prove an opportunity for Steven Gerrard to come back into the centre of the pitch.
I believe that he is wasted out wide. Perhaps he only nominally starts on the left and is allowed to roam a little and support the attack more, but England should be playing their best players in their best positions.
Capello has enough experience and nous to make it work with Gerrard and Lampard both going through the middle. They would not have to literally play side by side for an entire match.
That in turn would open up that space on the left to be filled by a proper winger, someone like Adam Johnson. The Manchester City man is genuinely left-footed, can get in behind full-backs and offer a degree of creativity and inventiveness. I'd prefer to see him in the team than Joe Cole, who has barely played this season and is more likely to drift inside with the ball, losing out on those crossing opportunities that England can thirve on.
Sometimes these matches can be something of a no-win situation - if England go out and put five past Japan then no one would be that impressed, but if they came away with a scrappy draw then it will not be received well back home.
I'm sure a result like that wouldn't do too much to damage morale within the camp though. Before the 1990 World Cup we played Tunisia in a friendly, and it was only a late goal from Steve Bull that saved us from defeat, but we still travelled to Italy full of confidence.