England Manager Expects Arsenal Duo To Be Fit For World Cup and Assures Them They’ll Be In His Squad

Hodgson assures Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain that their places on the plane to Brazil are not reliant on them featuring in the latter stages of the domestic campaign.

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England boss Roy Hodgson is confident that Arsenal midfield pair Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be available for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Wilshere, 22, has been out of action since early March with a broken foot, while Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, is likely to miss the rest of the club season with a groin injury.

Hodgson will name his provisional 30-man squad on May 12 and he has assured his star players that their inclusion does not hinge on them featuring in the latter stages of the domestic campaign.

He told Sky Sports: “Wilshere has been training with the others at Arsenal and, while he is not being thrown back into the fray, he is there. He has been training with the team, as far as I know, for a while.

“I am not prepared to have a 100 per cent rule that you either play in the last game of the season or you don’t go – I am not prepared to do that.

“I have spoken to [Gunners boss] Arsene [Wenger] and they have been holding him back because they don’t want to push him too early.”

Hodgson added: “Oxlade-Chamberlain just needs a couple of weeks’ rest.”

Everton defender Phil Jagielka is another Three Lions regular that has been struggling for fitness of late.

A hamstring problem has kept Jagielka out since February, but Hodgson is keen to take the 31-year-old to Brazil.

“We have had good reports back for the last few weeks,” added the England boss. “He has had a problem, but he has been participating to a decent level in training.

“They have been keen not to throw him back in but we don’t have any fears. He might be back in on Saturday [against Manchester City].”

Jagielka, who has been capped 24 times at senior international level, is Hodgson’s preferred partner for Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.

England will begin their World Cup campaign by facing Italy in Manaus on June 14, before taking on Luis Suarez’s Uruguay in Sao Paulo five days later.

The Three Lions’ Group D fixtures conclude with a trip to Belo Horizonte to play Costa Rica on June 24.

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