UK & World News

  • 12 May 2014, 13:04

Hodgson Set To Reveal England World Cup Squad

England manager Roy Hodgson is about to reveal his 23-man squad for the World Cup, and there has already been one high profile omission confirmed.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has retired from international football after being told he will not be on the plane to Brazil.

The 33-year-old, who earned a total of 107 caps and played at three World Cups, has lost out to Southampton star Luke Shaw.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Saints, and will compete with Everton's Leighton Baines for a starting berth at the tournament.

Hodgson will call all 23 of the players he has selected before making the official announcement at 2pm.

Seven standbys will also be picked in case there are any injuries before the Three Lions' first game against Italy on June 14.

Hodgson, who was appointed two years ago, admitted he is not looking forward to dashing hopes.

"There's only one downside to this job and it's a major downside," he said.

"I can only take 23 players. And there are more than 23 I'd like to take with me.

"It's not the most pleasant part of the job."

Some stars, like Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney are assured of a spot, but there will be many nervously eyeing their phones.

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick could be forced to watch the tournament at home after their team's poor season.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard could also find himself missing out due to the good form of a number of young talents this past year.

Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley have both caught the eye in the midfields of Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton respectively.

The flair and trickery of Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana have made many sit up and take note.

But at the back there appears to be no such dilemma.

Hodgson said as long ago as March that his four centre-backs will be Gary Cahill of Chelsea, Everton's Phil Jagielka and Manchester United's Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

A recent shoulder problem leaves a question mark over Jones, and if he is ruled out Everton youngster John Stones or Cardiff's Steven Caulker will be expected to fill his spot.

Up front, Rooney will be joined by fellow United attacker Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool, who was the top scoring Englishman this season with 21 goals.

One further position for a striker remains, and this is thought to be a fight between target man Andy Carroll of West Ham and Southampton's Rickie Lambert.

West Bromwich Albion's Ben Foster is expected to be the second choice goalkeeper behind Hart, with John Ruddy of relegated Norwich, Fraser Forster from Celtic and Stoke City's Jack Butland competing for the third slot.

After taking on Italy, England will face Uruguay on June 19, followed by the final group game versus Costa Rica five days later.