Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge mocked his England colleague Luke Shaw, who is poised to secure a £30 million move to Manchester United from Southampton this summer, for posing in a team photo posted on Instagram.
Sturridge uploaded the picture online using the popular photo-sharing app alongside the caption: “Now we're cooking!! #squad #worldcup2014 #team #england shoutout to Luke shaw for the sweet boy pose. I see you baby lol”
As you can see, Shaw was at the front of the team photo - which features most of the England squad - with his hand on his chin. The 18-year-old is, admittedly, looking rather like a member from your average boy-band when Sturridge took the snap. It was all light-hearted and in good humour, though.
England are currently finalising their preparation for their World Cup Group D opener against Italy on Saturday night in Manaus. Sturridge is expected to line the line for Roy Hodgson’s side, despite failing to score in either of England’s two warm-up matches in Miami last week, while Shaw will almost certainly start on the bench, with Hodgson set to deploy Leighton Baines at left-back.
The Three Lions last went head-to-head with the Azzurri back in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, when the two sides played out a hard-fought 0-0 draw, before Italy booked their place in the semi-finals via a tense penalty shoot-out.
Conditions in Manaus will prove troublesome for both sides. The weather forecast for the northern Brazilian city on Saturday is typically warm and humid, and whichever side copes best with the heat has an excellent chance of getting their World Cup campaign off to the best possible start.
England and Italy are both expected to qualify from the group, although South American outfit Uruguay will push both of the European teams all the way. Costa Rica, meanwhile, appear to have their work cut out in what promises to be one of the most competitive groups at this summer’s World Cup finals.
Sturridge should start upfront along with Wayne Rooney and Adam Lallana, while Hodgson must decide whether to deploy either Danny Welbeck or Raheem Sterling on the left flank.
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