England hand Jack Wilshere number seven squad number

England midfielder Jack Wilshere could be set for a key role at the World Cup, despite an injury-hit season, after being handed the number seven shirt.

The Football Association announced England's squad numbers for the finals in Brazil on Thursday.

Wilshere, 22, has only played twice for Arsenal since March, but could be in line to start England's World Cup opener against Italy on 14 June.

There were few other surprises, with Daniel Sturridge taking number nine.

The 24-year-old striker has been rewarded for his fine season with Liverpool and could start along with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, who has been handed the number 10 shirt as expected.

England's pre-World Cup games

Steven Gerrard

30 May: Peru at Wembley

4 June: Ecuador in Miami

7 June: Honduras in Miami

Fellow United forward Danny Welbeck will wear number 11, hinting at a three-man attack for England manager Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool midfielder and England captain Steven Gerrard retains his number four shirt and veteran Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard takes the number eight.

Wilshere, who is coming back to fitness after suffering a hairline fracture in his foot playing for England on 5 March, could make up a three-man central midfield, according to the squad numbers.

Hodgson confirmed Everton's Phil Jagielka and Chelsea's Gary Cahill as his likely first-choice centre-half pairing, with the number five and six shirts respectively.

Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson will wear two and Everton left-back Leighton Baines takes number three, with Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart named as England's number one.

Hodgson's team take on Peru in a friendly at Wembley on 30 May and go to Miami for matches against Ecuador and Honduras before their opening World Cup game in Manaus.

In addition to Italy, England also face a group encounter with Uruguay on 19 June, before meeting Costa Rica five days later.

England squad numbers

1. Joe Hart, 2. Glen Johnson, 3. Leighton Baines, 4. Steven Gerrard, 5. Gary Cahill, 6. Phil Jagielka, 7. Jack Wilshere, 8. Frank Lampard, 9. Daniel Sturridge, 10. Wayne Rooney, 11. Daniel Welbeck, 12. Chris Smalling, 13. Ben Foster, 14. Jordan Henderson, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16. Phil Jones, 17. James Milner, 18. Rickie Lambert, 19. Raheem Sterling, 20. Adam Lallana, 21. Ross Barkley, 22. Fraser Forster, 23. Luke Shaw