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Shilton hails Hart competition

Legendary England keeper Peter Shilton has backed Joe Hart to start the World Cup opener against Italy, although he is glad there is more competition between the posts.

Record cap holder Shilton, who amassed 125 appearances as he featured in three World Cups and two European championships, believes Manchester City keeper Hart will be in nets in Manaus on June 14 if he maintains his form following a blip earlier in the season.

But he is glad there is competition from West Brom keeper Ben Foster, Celtic's Fraser Forster and John Ruddy of Norwich as England boss Roy Hodgson gets ready to name his provisional 30-man squad on May 13th.

Shilton told : "Joe's our most experienced keeper. I was a bit surprised to see him have such a bad spell (earlier in the season) and make so many mistakes but he seems to have recovered from that.

"There's still quite a bit of time between now and the World Cup, hopefully it doesn't happen again where he starts making silly errors. But I think obviously that he'll be the first choice if he keeps his form well.

"But it's nice to have Ben Foster back in the frame, because I think technically he's a solid keeper. Roy Hodgson knows him well (from his time at West Brom).

"I think he did well in the England games I've seen him play in and he's going to put a bit of pressure on Joe which I think Joe's needed for a while.

"And obviously we've got Fraser Forster whose had a good season with Celtic and Ruddy at Norwich. So it's going to be interesting but I think it's great to have a bit of competition now."

Provisional squad

There are 99 days until the tournament starts and Denmark's visit to Wembley for a friendly on Wednesday provides Hodgson with the last chance to assess his players before he names his provisional squad.

Hodgson must then submit his final 23-man party for the World Cup on June 2nd, three days after facing Peru at Wembley, before matches with Ecuador and Honduras just days before their World Cup opener.

Shilton added: "I think at the moment Roy Hodgson's obviously getting his squad together, he's going to be experimenting a bit in the next couple of matches.

"He's got his final 30 players but he'll be wanting to try one or two things out.

"I don't think the results are mega important, although we did lose the last couple of games so he'll probably want to start off with a nice win against Denmark.

"But I think the last couple of games (against Ecuador and Honduras) he'll want to sort of start getting his final 16-17 players playing together and getting a bit of confidence going into the first game in the World Cup."

With 125 appearances, Peter Shilton is England's most capped football player. Celebrating the launch of the Wasgij Original 21 Football Fever jigsaw puzzle, Jumbo Games is running a promotion offering the chance to watch England take on Uruguay alongside Shilton on 19 June 2014.