Hodgson: I know my team

England arrive in Brazil for the World Cup on Sunday and boss Roy Hodgson has suggested he knows his starting line-up to face Italy next weekend.

Last Updated: 08/06/14 at 20:01 Post Comment

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England finished their preparations with a 0-0 draw with Honduras in Miami on Saturday night.

The players had to battle temperatures of 30 degrees, 60 per cent humidity and a hugely physical Honduras team, and England were fortunate that no players were injured.

And a tropical storm meant the match had to be stopped for 44 minutes during the first half.

Hodgson told Sky Sports News he is happy with how the squad's preparation has gone and suggested that he had settled on his starting XI to take on Italy in Manaus next weekend well before their final warm-up matches against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras.

"I think the team was first class and we go to Brazil now with three weeks' good preparation," he said.

"I've got to say these warm-up games, they don't necessarily answer a lot of questions. You ask and answer your own questions over a long period of time.

"These warm-up games are...just a way of getting yourself to Rio and the real tournament, the real football begins. I'm happy we are going there in good spirits and the players have done all that we have asked them. "

Hodgson says the first-half stoppage did not overly affect the players.

"I thought we dealt with that very well. We hadn't been bad in the first 25 minutes but I thought we stepped it up after the interval and there was only one team that wanted to win the game and that was us," he said. "I'm just surprised we didn't put the ball in the back of the net."

And Hodgson gave an upbeat assessment on the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who suffered a knee injury in the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday.

Hodgson said: "He is making big strides forward, I'd be very surprised if the doctors tell us he wouldn't be capable of playing a part in the tournament.

"That's what we are hoping for. But there are still a few assessments to be made on him. I wouldn't want to suggest that is a stonewall certainty."

England defender Phil Jagielka added: "He can't do anything out of his leg brace yet. He's a young lad, hopefully he's a quick healer. We'd love to keep him. If he can get himself fit and play like he did the other night then he's definitely worth keeping hold of."

Hmmm, as Mediawatch would say: "From a website not a million miles away from here..."
- fackson

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