Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge set for England front line

Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge set for England front line

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The Three Lions still have three opportunities to experiment before their FIFA World Cup opener against Italy on June 14, with Hodgson keen to see Rooney and Sturridge combine on the field.

Hodgson’s men will continue their Brazil preparations from St George’s Park on Wednesday, ahead of their clash with the Peruvians at Wembley.

The 66-year-old said the Manchester United and Liverpool strikers will be given the chance to become England’s first-choice forwards.

“We haven’t really seen them (together), have we?” Hodgson said, of Rooney and Sturridge.

“We’ve seen an awful lot of the Sturridge-Suarez partnership at Liverpool but not a lot of Rooney-Sturridge partnership because they haven’t had a lot of time to play together.

“Now’s our chance. From the time we get to St George’s Park we start to move away from bigger focus on fitness and getting people in the right shape to tactical preparation.

“That’s when the partnerships will start to develop. It won’t just be Rooney-Sturridge, we will be working on Welbeck and Lambert as well.

“But I think it’s too early to start making big bold statements and judgements on Rooney-Sturridge partnership being X or Y because we haven’t seen enough of it.”

Hodgson said he is not expecting either player to drastically change how they play, although added Sturridge – who would be deployed higher than Rooney – would have to defend when required.

“We will do the things you need to be professional and to be in the best shape,” Hodgson said.

“We want Wayne Rooney to go onto the pitch as Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, if he plays, to be Daniel Sturridge.

“But at some point Sturridge might be required to work back and cover. Daniel plays down the centre but you want your attacking players on the ball where they can do damage.

“Daniel is not a left-winger but if we’re 1-0 up with a few minutes to go, he might have to do a job for the team on that side.”

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