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Football: Hodgson fears Pirlo in Italy World Cup clash

England coach Roy Hodgson admitted Thursday that he fears the damage Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo could cause when the countries clash at the World Cup. "The player I fear the most? We respect everyone but if I have to name someone it would be Andrea Pirlo," said Hodgson in an interview with Mediaset. "Pirlo has played in Italy for 10 years. I coached him for six months (1998-1999 at Inter Milan). He has had an incredible career."

Football: Sturridge must accept new role, says Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson has told striker Daniel Sturridge that he must be prepared to adapt his game if he wants to play an important role at the World Cup. Sturridge scored the only goal of the game as England beat Denmark 1-0 at Wembley Stadium earlier this week in their final friendly match before Hodgson names his 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil. It took his tally of goals to 12 in his last 13 matches for club and country, but the 24-year-old found himself deployed in a slightly different position to the one he usually adopts with Liverpool.

Football: Sturridge can be England centurion - Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson has encouraged striker Daniel Sturridge to bring his superb Liverpool form to the international arena by predicting that he could go on to win 100 caps. Sturridge, 24, is enjoying the finest season of his career to date, having scored 18 goals in 20 games to help fire Liverpool's Premier League title charge alongside strike partner Luis Suarez.

Football: Sterling and Zaha give Hodgson wings

England manager Roy Hodgson feels the sparkling form of Raheem Sterling and the re-emergence of Wilfried Zaha could leave him spoilt for choice in wide areas at the World Cup. Sterling, 19, has produced some scintillating displays for Liverpool in recent weeks, notably scoring twice in the 5-1 demolition of Arsenal last weekend that relaunched his side's Premier League title challenge. Zaha, meanwhile, is belatedly enjoying some first-team action after joining Cardiff City on loan from Manchester United last month.

Football: Hodgson seeks peace with mayor of Manaus

England manager Roy Hodgson has written to the mayor of Brazilian city Manaus in a bid to build bridges after he made negative comments about the World Cup venue. Prior to December's group-phase draw, Hodgson described the Amazonian city as "the place ideally to avoid", only for England to be drawn to play their first game of the tournament against Italy there. Hodgson was concerned about the high temperatures and humidity levels in Manaus, but his remarks drew a stern rebuke from the city's mayor, Arthur Virgilio Neto.

Football: Fearless Hodgson will take pot luck at draw

England coach Roy Hodgson said Thursday he will take whatever is thrown up in Friday's World Cup draw at Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. England have already decided to base themselves in Rio de Janeiro -- but if they are drawn as the second team in Brazil's group they could face trips to the sweltering heat of Manaus and Recife. "We respect everybody, we don't fear anybody. Whatever group we get we think it will be a tough one but we are happy just to be in a group and to take whatever draw is given to us," said Hodgson, who took Switzerland to the second phase at USA 94.

World Cup draw like a box of chocolates, says Hodgson

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - England manager Roy Hodgson borrowed a line from the hit movie Forrest Gump on Monday when he described this week's World Cup draw as "like a box of chocolates." Hodgson flies to Brazil on Tuesday for Friday's ceremony when his team will discover who they face in next year's finals. England are not one of the top seeds and could find themselves in the same group as hosts Brazil, world champions Spain or even arch-rivals Germany.

Hodgson won't sweat on Rooney medical bulletins

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Roy Hodgson is sanguine about the regular injury bulletins he will receive between now and next May but the England manager may pay extra attention to Wayne Rooney's wellbeing. When fit and focused Rooney is unquestionably England's key man and probably the first name Hodgson will write on his World Cup squad list for the June 12-July 13 finals in Brazil.

Football: Location Hodgson's prime draw concern

England manager Roy Hodgson has insisted location rather than the opposition is his greatest worry as waits for the outcome of Friday's 2014 World Cup draw in Brazil. Hodgson's men are unseeded, so are in line to face one of the teams in the top pot of seeds which includes hosts Brazil, champions Spain, Argentina and Germany. "I think (the draw) is a time when speculation is rife and people have a lot of fun looking at the potential possibilities," said Hodgson on Monday.

Football: England can take cue from Germany - Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson believes his side should draw inspiration from recent conquerors Germany, as he seeks to assemble a squad capable of making an impact at the World Cup. England were beaten 1-0 by Germany in a friendly game at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, four days after going down 2-0 to Chile at the same venue. Whereas Chile smothered England with assured, passing football, Germany emerged victorious despite seeming to play within themselves, having fielded a team missing several first-team players.
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