English optimism grows as reports suggest Raheem Sterling will start against Italy

Liverpool youngster given the nod by Roy Hodgson and expected to play behind Daniel Sturridge.

Image: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

ENGLAND MANAGER ROY HODGSON has decided to give youth its chance with Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling expected to be named in the starting line-up for tonight’s Group D clash with Italy in Manaus (kick-off 11pm GMT).

There had been rumours that Southampton’s Adam Lallana had impressed enough in training to make the team but Sterling has got the nod instead.

But Hodgson is set to place even more responsibility on the 19 year-old’s shoulders by asking him to play in a central role, supporting club-mate Daniel Sturridge.

Soccer - World Cup 2014 - Friendly - England v Peru - Wembley Stadium Source: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

According to reports this evening, Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck will play in the wide areas.

Here is the expected England team:

Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson; Welbeck, Sterling, Rooney; Sturridge

The reaction to the news across social media has been immensely positive with many praising Hodgson’s bravery in putting his faith in young, in-form players.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

Let’s hope the decision doesn’t back-fire.

Buffon ruled out of opener with England and could miss entire World Cup

Colombia ease to a comfortable 3-0 victory over a disappointing Greece

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

Read next: