Filled with some veterans and a host of energetic youngsters, England head to the world cup with a sense of rejuvenation. They have disappointed their fans over the last few editions of the world cup and underperformed considerably despite having a star studded line up.
This year however, Hodgson has chosen talent and flare over experience as the Poms boast of a side featuring youngsters like Lallana,Sturridge,Welbeck and Wilshire, who have all been in fine form for their respective clubs.
The only issue that would worry England is the pressure associated with the big tournament. England have failed to make it beyond the quarters in recent times and most notably lost via penalties on several occasions.
Besides this, almost all the players in the squad barring one, play in the English Premier league. They will know each other quite well and that is perhaps a blessing in disguise for England.
Here’s a look at the England line up:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (England), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United).
England are placed in a tough group D with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. This is the group of death and every contest here is crucial for all 4 teams. England will have to fight it out to ensure that they progress. Even a little lapse in judgment can eliminate them and take them back to the bowels of mediocrity.
Stars to watch out for: Rooney, Sturridge, Gerrard, Lampard