World Cup 2014: Who is on the England plane to Brazil?

England training

Ashley Cole will not be involved but plenty of questions remain. Who partners Steven Gerrard in midfield? Is Adam Lallana the surprise package? Will Raheem Sterling continue to shine? Which back-up goalkeepers get the nod?

England manager Roy Hodgson will name his squad for the World Cup in Brazil on Monday, with 23 players expected to be announced as definite inclusions and seven others on standby.

The final 23 names have to be submitted to Fifa by 2 June, 10 days prior to the tournament starting and 12 days before England face Italy in their Group D opener in Manaus.

Since Hodgson took over as manager two years ago, 57 different players have been involved on 25 match days. Their final international audition took place in March, England beating Denmark 1-0.

Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad included three goalkeepers, seven defenders, nine midfielders and four strikers. What will he do this time? And who will board the flight to South America?


Definitely on the plane: Joe Hart (26, Manchester City, 39 caps)

Almost there: Fraser Forster (25, Celtic, one cap)

Facing an anxious wait: John Ruddy (27, Norwich, one cap)

Making a late charge: Jack Butland (20, Stoke City, one cap), Ben Foster (30, West Brom, six caps)

The left-field possibility? Robert Green (34, QPR, 12 caps)

Fraser Forster
Celtic's Fraser Forster has only played once for England despite being included in 12 match-day squads

Despite losing his place in the Manchester City team for a spell earlier this season, Hart has been England's undisputed number one for almost four years.

His 39 caps have brought 20 clean sheets and he has played in all but three of Hodgson's 25 games in charge.

With that in mind, some questioned the wisdom of giving Hart 90 minutes against Denmark and, although he made a fine save from Morten Rasmussen at 0-0, might it not have been more beneficial to bring Forster and/or Ruddy and/or Foster off the bench?

Forster has now featured in 12 match-day squads but made only one start. For Ruddy it is 14 match-day squads and one substitute appearance, while Foster has not started for England since 2010.

That lack of international exposure could prove costly if Hart gets injured. At just shy of 21, Butland is spending a third loan stint away from Stoke City and looks to be one for the future.


Definitely on the plane: Leighton Baines (29, Everton, 22 caps, one goal), Gary Cahill (28, Chelsea, 22 caps, two goals), Phil Jagielka (31, Everton, 24 caps, one goal), Glen Johnson (29, Liverpool, 50 caps, one goal), Phil Jones (22, Manchester United, nine caps), Luke Shaw (18, Southampton, one cap), Chris Smalling (24, Manchester United, 10 caps)

Almost there: Jon Flanagan (21, Liverpool, 0 caps)

Facing an anxious wait: Kyle Walker (23, Tottenham, 10 caps)

Making a late charge: Nathaniel Clyne (22, Southampton, uncapped), Kieran Gibbs (24, Arsenal, three caps), John Stones (19, Everton, 0 caps)

The left-field possibility? Joleon Lescott (31, Manchester City, 26 caps, one goal)

Luke Shaw
Southampton's Luke Shaw (right) impressed in his England debut against Denmark in March

At centre-half, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill look to be Hodgson's preferred partnership. Jagielka's recent hamstring injury also opened the door for another defender in the Everton backline - John Stones.

In deputising for Jagielka and more recently Sylvain Distin, Stones' performances have caught the eye of many, including former England captain Gary Lineker.

"The one I might take a chance on because we are short in central defence is Stones," said Lineker. "I really like him and he has got a lot about him."

Phil Jones is likely to get the nod after Ryan Giggs said he "will be OK for the World Cup" after a recent shoulder injury. He should be joined by his fellow Manchester United team mate Chris Smalling on the plane.

With Kyle Walker, a certainty for the squad if fit, still unable to train since suffering a pelvic injury on 13 March, Glen Johnson looks odds-on to be the first choice right-back and add to his 50 international caps.

Walker's possible absence leaves an opening for right-backs Jon Flanagan of Liverpool and Nathaniel Clyne of Southampton - both of whom are yet to make their England debuts - while Cole's omission means Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw will compete at left-back.


Definitely on the plane: Steven Gerrard, captain (33, Liverpool, 109 caps, 21 goals), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (20, Arsenal, 14 caps, three goals), Jordan Henderson (23, Liverpool, eight caps), Adam Lallana (25, Southampton, three caps), Raheem Sterling (19, Liverpool, two caps)

Almost there: Ross Barkley (20, Everton, three caps) James Milner (28, Manchester City, 45 caps, one goal)

Facing an anxious wait: Jack Wilshere (22, Arsenal, 15 caps), Tom Cleverley (24, Manchester United, 13 caps), Frank Lampard (35, Chelsea, 103 caps, 29 goals),

Making a late charge: Gareth Barry (33, Everton, 53 caps, three goals), Adam Johnson (26, Sunderland, 12 caps, two goals)

The left-field possibility? Ashley Young (28, Manchester United, 30 caps, seven goals)

Injured: Theo Walcott (25, Arsenal, 36 caps, five goals), Andros Townsend (22, Tottenham, five caps, one goal)

Ross Barkley
Central midfielder Ross Barkley has been a key player for Everton in their successful season

As captain and orchestrator-in-chief, Gerrard is perhaps the only cast-iron selection in this fiercely competitive area of the team.

The other central midfield position(s) are set to be contested by Gerrard's Liverpool team mate Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere after it emerged Michael Carrick would not make the squad. Hodgson will need to be satisfied the latter's injury absence since March does not present a fitness gamble.

Wilshere suffered a fracture in his left foot on England duty against Denmark nine weeks ago, but he came on as a substitute for Arsenal in their final Premier League game against Norwich on Sunday.

Henderson has played a key role in Liverpool's title challenge this season and has gone a long way to finally justifying his £20m price tag.

His form and understanding at club level with Gerrard perhaps puts him above Wilshere in the pecking order.

Oxlade-Chamberlain's progress was checked in August by a knee injury that ruled him out for several months, but he has since returned to full sharpness and memories of his superb equaliser against Brazil in the Maracana will not fade in a hurry.

In the attacking positions, the feeling that both Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana are both almost certainties for Brazil exemplify the seasons they have had.

At the BBC's recent World Cup launch, Gary Lineker supported their inclusions, referring to Sterling as a "sensational footballer" and Lallana as a "delightful footballer".

Both players have hit a purple patch and been integral to their respective clubs this season - and the question now might not be whether they go to the World Cup but whether they warrant a starting place.

Likewise, Everton's Ross Barkley has also played himself into Hodgson's World Cup plans with some fantastic displays this season - not least with the magnificent, 25-yard curling effort he scored against Manchester City recently.

Lineker is also a fan of the 20-year-old, calling him "a star in the making" and a "prodigious talent" back in December, 2013.

There is greater concern surrounding Hodgson regulars Cleverley, Lampard and Milner - the latter two being used in rotational roles this season and Cleverley the subject of an online petition for him to be banned from being picked for the World Cup squad.

Hodgson has already warned England's "big-name" players that at least one of them faces missing outexternal-link on the World Cup.


Definitely on the plane: Wayne Rooney (28, Manchester United, 89 caps, 38 goals), Daniel Sturridge (24, Liverpool, 10 caps, three goals), Danny Welbeck (23, Manchester United, 21 caps, eight goals)

Almost there: Rickie Lambert (32, Southampton, four caps, two goals)

Facing an anxious wait: Jermain Defoe (31, Toronto, 55 caps, 19 goals)

Making a late charge: Connor Wickham (21, Sunderland, 0 caps)

The left-field possibility? Andy Carroll (25, West Ham, nine caps, two goals)

Injured: Jay Rodriguez (24, Southampton, one cap)

Andy Carroll
West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has not played for England since October 2012

This is not an area in which England are particularly well stocked, although the likes of Sterling and Lallana do tend to operate as wide forwards when England attack.

Rooney and Sturridge are Hodgson's most obvious sources of firepower and there will be huge pressure on them to lead the line for their country as they do their clubs.

Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs recently said Rooney is ready to make a big impact at this summer's World Cup. "Wayne is a top player," said Giggs.

"He is at a good age. He is probably at the peak of his powers and I know for a fact he can't wait for it."

United team-mate Danny Welbeck is also primed for a place on the plane after performing well under Hodgson numerous times in an England shirt.

The final place in the squad will likely be contested by Rickie Lambert, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll. The 32-year-old Lambert has had another consistent season for Southampton, netting 12 league goals while Andy Carroll has returned strongly for West Ham since injury.

If Hodgson needs a reminder of what the 6ft 3in frontman can do, he only needs to recall England's dramatic victory over Sweden at Euro 2012.

Defoe has featured in all but two of Hodgson's match-day squads but a move to Toronto FC in the MLS could undermine his chances - despite him scoring at almost a goal-per-game ratio for his new club.

A potential wildcard could be Sunderland striker Connor Wickham who scored five times to help his team avoid relegation, picking up the Premier League's Player of the Month award for April in the process.

With Hodgson saying he's known his squad for a while however, it might just have come too late for the 21-year-old.