The Ox vs Sturridge in England World Cup dance-off

May 23, 2014

World Cup whispers: England squad numbers revealed after golf pranks and a dance war

In 2006 we had Peter Crouch and his robot dance, and before that there was the famous Roger Milla wiggle, but this year we can look forward to the Daniel Sturridge shuffle. Or can we? The Liverpool man's goal celebration appears to have been appropriated by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal, who was caught on camera practicing his team-mate's routine at England's training base in Portugal. Sturridge declared himself unhappy with the situation. But what did Raheem Sterling think of the Ox's efforts? "Strong," apparently. Which of them will score first?

... AND EXPLODING GOLF BALLS Away from the dancefloor was more video evidence of high spirits in the England camp as the squad took a break from their warm-weather training regime with a round of golf. The mood in the camp, in contrast with four years ago under Fabio Capello, seems buoyant, particularly among the goalkeeping contingent as West Brom keeper Ben Foster played a classic 'exploding ball' prank on fellow shot-stopper Fraser Forster, who emerged from the cloud of dust with a huge grin on his face - which is fortunate as he stands at 6ft 7in.

HODGSON TO GO WITH WILSHERE AND LAMPARD? The FA revealed England's squad numbers yesterday. Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard were given the numbers seven and eight, suggesting they will feature in Roy Hodgson's starting XI against Italy on 14 June. Danny Welbeck was awarded the 11 shirt despite speculation his first team place may in doubt with rising stars like Adam Lallana (20) and Raheem Sterling (19) breathing down his neck. Steven Gerrard will wear his usual number four jersey and Joe Hart was confirmed as England's number one.

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. Daniel 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

HANSEN ON HEALTHCARE Could pundit Alan Hansen be planning a new career in public health after quitting the BBC at the end of the World Cup? The Liverpool legend has teamed up with the Commonwealth Office to offer healthcare advice to England's travelling World Cup fans, urging them to get vaccinated before heading to Brazil. The 58-year-old Scot stressed "the importance of pre-tournament preparation" insisting it applied to fans as well as players. Fans heading to Brazil should be vaccinated against yellow fever, reports the Daily Mirror. Other threats include malaria, typhoid and dengue fever.

NASRI SACRIFICED FOR ESPRIT DE CORPS Didier Deschamps left Samir Nasri out of the France squad because of his reputation as something of a bad apple, says French writer Julien Laurens the Daily Telegraph. After the debacle of 2010, when mutiny destroyed the team, the new France manager is acutely aware of the need for esprit de corps in the camp. Nasri maybe talented, but Deschamps "feels that instead of gelling with the rest of the squad, the former Marseille prodigy would actually cause problems", says Laurens. He may have a point if Nasri's girlfriend's reaction to being dropped is anything to go by.

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