Sunderland’s Poyet praises England World Cup squad

Sunderland's manager Gus Poyet.
Sunderland's manager Gus Poyet.
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GUS Poyet says Roy Hodgson’s England squad has the perfect blend of youth and experience and he’s looking forward to see how far they can go in this World Cup.

England get their tournament underway tonight when they take on Italy in Manaus.

And Sunderland boss Poyet – who is in Brazil on duty as an ITV pundit throughout – will be taking a particular interest, as England’s next game in Group D puts them up against his home country Uruguay.

He said: “I’m really excited at the players England have to pick from and I like the fact that Roy Hodgson has not just gone for safe options.

“He has taken some young players who will go on to become regular internationals for years to come.

“I’ve seen all of these young players play in the Premier League and I have been really impressed with people like Daniel Sturridge, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

“They are names to look out for at the World Cup.”

Along with the established internationals like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, England coach Roy Hodgson has given youth a chance in his 23-man squad.

As well as Arsenal pair Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Liverpool trio of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and former Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson, there is Southampton’s Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, and Everton’s Ross Barkley.

Poyet believes England have enough options and potential to do well in the finals but believes Group D could be one of the groups of death with Italy also fancied and Uruguay a dark horse to progress.

He said: “Italy are favourites to get through, and after that it is a question of who comes second.

“England have a good chance, but so do Uruguay – and I will be honest and say I have to go with my heart and admit that I want Uruguay to go through!

”But we will see - in World Cup finals, like any other tournament, there are always shocks and surprises.”