England Players Confident Of Italy World Cup Scalp

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  • England captain Steven Gerrard and striker Daniel Sturridge rallied England for their coming World Cup campaign after a routine 3-0 victory against Peru, Gerrard feeling they will peak against Italy.

    The England captain is confident that the Three Lions will be at their best when they face up to Italy on day three of the 2014 World Cup, the side that ultimately knocked them out of the Euro 2012 tournament on penalties.

    "The important thing is we are ready to peak in 10 days' time," Gerrard told BBC Radio 5 live. "Against Italy we'll be raring to go. Hopefully we'll give a top performance and I am confident we can do that."

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    England's 3-0 victory at Wembley over Peru began with a fine solo effort by Daniel Sturridge, curling in the opening goal before a brace of Leighton Baines corners were finished by central defenders Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka.

    Sturridge said afterwards that England should now feel a lot more optimistic about their hopes for this summer's tournament, as they head to Miami for further friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras before the World Cup begins on 12 June.

    "It was difficult because Peru defended well, they were very compact", said the Liverpool striker, who has scored 27 goals in 37 games for club and country this season.

    "We have worked very hard in the week and there wasn't the match sharpness we would have liked. We don't want to make up the numbers [in Brazil], we are winners. That doesn't mean we will win the World Cup but we are winners and we will do our best."

    England boss Roy Hodgson said that he also has no fears over Wayne Rooney following his recovery from a groin injury, adding: "I have no need to consider, at this moment in time, which strikers I will play against Italy in two weeks' time.

    "I'm very pleased with the options I've got in my strike force, and I now have two weeks of training and matches to decide the line-up. I won't decide the line-up until the last week or even the last day before the game in Manaus."

    Baines was forced to leave the pitch earlier than planned at Wembley, but Hodgson quashed injury fears by saying that, with the game won, "it opportunity to give John Stones 10 minutes in front of 85,000 fans at Wembley."

    England begin their 2014 World Cup Group D campaign against fellow former champions Italy on 14 June.​ Click here to compare odds for England to win World Cup 2014.


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