ENGLAND’S squad numbers for this summer’s World Cup have been confirmed, with Frank Lampard retaining his favoured number eight shirt despite being unlikely to make Roy Hodgson’s starting line-up.
Skipper Steven Gerrard will wear the number four jersey, with Daniel Sturridge handed number nine and Wayne Rooney lining up in number ten.
Joe Hart’s seniority was confirmed when he was awarded the number one top, while Jack Wilshere’s selection at number seven suggests he could be favourite to start alongside Gerrard at the heart of England’s first-choice midfield.
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Wearsider Jordan Henderson is England’s number 14 for this summer’s tournament, with Northumberland’s Fraser Forster selected as 22.
Roy Hodgson’s squad, who are currently at a training camp in Portugal, will play their opening warm-up game against Peru at Wembley next Friday.
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. Danny 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.
ARGENTINA have axed former Chelsea and Wigan Athletic striker Franco Di Santo from their provisional World Cup squad.
Alejandro Sabella has trimmed his initial 30-man group down to 26, with Getafe defender Lisandro Lopez, River Plate full-back Gabriel Mercardo and Catania midfielder Fabian Rinaudo also missing out.
Sabella will announce his final 23-man squad for the finals on June 2, and is currently sweating on the availability of three key players.
Midfielders Fernando Gaga, Augusto Fernandez and Angel Di Maria are all hoping to shake off injuries in order to be involved in Brazil.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR has tipped Nigeria to be the most successful African side at the World Cup finals, and claimed Ivory Coast’s “lack of togetherness” could hold them back.
Adebayor, whose Togo side failed to qualify for Brazil, said: “Out of the (African) teams, (my choice) would be Nigeria because of their concentration. Because of Stephen Keshi – he knows a lot about football and everything. And they have got Victor Moses, who is a great friend of mine, and I like the way he plays.”
However, the Tottenham striker does not have such a high opinion of Ivory Coast, despite the presence of the likes of Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Wilfried Bony.
He said: “I never trust them. They are the country that will always let you down. How come for the last four or five years, they have not won the African Cup of Nations? Are they going to be collective enough? I don’t know.”