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Hodgson confident over fitness of England trio

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By Andrew Tuft

Thursday 01 May 2014

England manager Roy Hodgson believes Everton defender Phil Jagielka and Arsenal pair Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will be fit for the World Cup, Sky Sports has reported.

Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The trio have missed significant portions of the season in recent weeks but all are edging closer to a return, with Hodgson saying that they will be in contention for a place in the England squad for Brazil even if they don’t play again for their clubs this season.

Jagielka has been ruled out with a hamstring injury but could return to the Everton XI against Manchester City on Saturday, while Wilshere is in training with the Gunners and Chamberlain will be back soon as well.

“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,” Hodgson said. “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 Arsene (Wenger) and they have been holding him back because they don't want to push him too early. Oxlade-Chamberlain just needs a couple of weeks' rest.”

Jagielka has been half of England’s first-choice centre-back partnership with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Hodgson added he was content with the progress of the Toffees captain. “He has had a problem but he has been participating to a decent level in training,” Hodgson confirmed. “They have been keen not to throw him back in but we don't have any fears. He might be back in on Saturday.”

Preliminary World Cup squads have to be registered with FIFA by May 12. A 23-man squad will be confirmed no later than June 2.

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