Welbeck boost for England

England coach Roy Hodgson has revealed Danny Welbeck will be fit to face Italy in the World Cup opener at Manaus on Saturday.

Last Updated: 14/06/14 at 19:49 Post Comment

Danny Welbeck: Has been past fit to face Italy this Saturday

Danny Welbeck: Has been past fit to face Italy this Saturday

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Speaking to the assembled press in their final briefing ahead of the Amazonia Arena clash Hodgson said: " Yes, Danny's fit."

The Manchester United striker had been struggling with a thigh injury and was forced to sit out training on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

"I'm very fortunate that even after four weeks of preparation, the only player who isn't available for selection is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain," added Hodgson. "That we knew, so there can be no complaints on that score." 

Hodgson insists he will have no hesitation in playing his younger players against the Italians, having openly admitted being impressed in training by Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley.

"I'm not afraid of giving youth a chance," he said. "We've only to think back to 1958 and Pele bursting on to the scene as a 17-year-old. He went on to dominate football and become one of the most, if not the most, famous footballers of all time.

"When he came to Sweden in 1958 he wasn't even well-known in Brazil. A month later he's a superstar and went on to be an even greater superstar.

"You've seen plenty of examples in the World Cup; Diego Maradona was very young when he first started playing for Argentina. Johan Cruyff was another one when he was dominating European football for Holland."

And former Liverpool boss Hodgson says picking his side for the World Cup opener against the Italians is one of the toughest jobs he's had to do in his 39-year managerial career.

Other than Oxlade-Chamberlain, who sprained a medial knee ligament in Miami last week, the 66-year-old has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Hodgson has settled on his keeper and back four while Jordan Henderson is expected to play alongside captain Steven Gerrard in midfield.

But who plays alongside Wayne Rooney in the centre just behind main striker Daniel Sturridge is less obvious for the England coach.

"I think it has been one of my toughest team selections," he said. "There's a lot of people really showing that they've got the form and the quality we're looking for.

"When I actually name the XI there will be some disappointed people."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m concerned as I have swore at football matches and whilst watching football on the TV. Am I also in line for an FA charge?

mufc phil
Wilshere charged by FA

I

m a big Rafa fan, but when he substitutes Ronaldo after 60 minutes of his first game, which Real draw 1-1, I don't see the Real fans being patient. He'll be gone before October is out.

the tree
Rafa quiet on Sterling and De Gea

W

hy no blog? that's my summer ruined. Can someone start a petition on change.org please?

myyoot
The New Dawn Gossip

Footer 365

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insists he is not guilty

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insists he is not guilty of any corrupt practices and sees no reason to stand down.

Chuck Blazer admits facilitating acceptance of bribes at FIFA

FIFA whistleblower Chuck Blazer has admitted facilitating the acceptance of bribes over the awarding of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

Benitez emotional at Real unveiling

Rafael Benitez refused to discuss Real Madrid's apparent interest in Raheem Sterling and David de Gea at his Bernabeu unveiling on Wednesday.

Mail Box

Does Anybody Care About Russia?

Do any of us really care about the decision to give the 2018 World Cup to Russia? We're not sure anybody does. We have mails on Blatter, Rafa and lots more...

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company