With Fabian Delph reported to be in contention to start for England in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland tonight, fellow Aston Villa international Philippe Senderos is looking forward to the prospect of facing his teammate.
Delph earned his first Three Lions cap as a 69th-minute substitute in last Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Norway at Wembley, but an ankle injury to Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson means he could be given a place in the starting XI for the match in Basel.
Having arrived at Villa on a free transfer this summer, Senderos has been impressed with what’s he’s seen from the midfielder thus far, and believes the recognition he’s receiving is much deserved.
‘He’s been brilliant, not only this season but over the last few seasons,’ he said.
‘Now he really deserves his place in the squad. He will bring his energy, his power, his will to move forward all the time. He is a very positive player to have around.’
Switzerland outperformed England at this summer’s World Cup, reaching the round of 16, but Senderos stresses his side are still underdogs going into the fixture.
‘I don’t think you can ever enter as favourites against a big team like England,’ he added.
‘We are still a small country, we are developing very well and qualifying for big tournaments, but England are a massive country in football and they have a lot of players to pick from.
‘England are still favourites and we are going to try to battle hard and start this new campaign on a good foot.
‘Starting with a win puts you on a good start and you can do something special in that qualification.
‘Looking from before the group, I think we are probably the two favourites to qualify.
‘We know that two teams qualify from each group so there is a big chance for us to qualify.
‘England will be on paper the toughest rival and we have to start well and have a good campaign at home.’
Senderos has been in fine form for Villa so far this season, helping Paul Lambert’s side concede just one goal in in their opening three Premier League matches to silence some of his critics, but the former Arsenal centre-back remains wary of the threat posed by opposition skipper Wayne Rooney.
‘It’s very difficult to mark him because he’s always moving around and finding these pockets between the midfield and the striker,’ he said.
‘So for us as defenders it’s very tough because he brings you out of the spot where you are normally comfortable.
‘He’s got great vision and ability so can hurt you at any time. He’s the perfect player and definitely he will thrive as England captain.’