Sterling gets the nod

14 June 2014 09:32

Roy Hodgson will unleash Liverpool's Raheem Sterling in England's World Cup opener against Italy in Manaus.

Hodgson has been full of praise for Sterling's performances in training this week and now the winger has a chance to show he can cut it on the biggest stage in world football.

The 19-year-old midfielder was handed just his third England start in an attack-minded XI, which contained five Liverpool players in total.

England were expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in Manaus, where temperatures exceeded 30 degrees Celsius.

Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney start alongside Sterling in a three-pronged forward line behind main striker Daniel Sturridge.

Jordan Henderson's fine season with Liverpool earned him a place in midfield alongside captain Steven Gerrard.

There were no surprises in defence as Hodgson selected Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka at centre-back.

Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines start at right and left-back respectively, while Joe Hart will make his first World Cup appearance in goal.

England were handed a massive boost before kick-off when Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Source: PA