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Blatter against Israel player tampering

FIFA
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Hodgson monitoring World Cup hopefuls

England manager Roy Hodgson has said he is closely monitoring his squad options ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Hodgson will name a 23-man squad on June 2 as he takes his England side to Brazil to face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

"We follow the games every week. There aren't any Premier League matches that are not covered,'' Hodgson told FA TV.

"[Coaches] Ray Lewington, Gary Neville, and myself in particular cover normally at least five or six of the top Premier League matches over the weekend, so I have no worries about not knowing enough about the players.''

England will take on Denmark in a friendly match on March 5, although that game takes place just four days after a weekend of Premier League fixtures that includes the Manchester derby.

"One of things that interests me more is trying to get more contact with the players,'' Hodgson added. "The game in March only gives us a couple of days. There are matches on the Sunday and we play on the Wednesday, so it doesn't exactly give us a lot of time then.

"One of our challenges is to try and make sure we liaise with the clubs, get around to the clubs and get a chance to meet with the coaches, meet with the players, just get an update and a chance to refresh the players' memories about what we look like and how we sound.''

The experienced Hodgson, 66, has admitted to his excitement ahead of the showpiece in Brazil, in particular after his team were handed a tough group stage draw.

"I am very excited,'' he said. "It is the biggest tournament, really. It is every four years, an incredible world event and this year with it being in Brazil, with all that Brazil represents in football terms, it adds spice to the occasion, there is no question about that.

"First of all, you go through quite a difficult 14 to 16 months making certain that you get there and of course when you get there it is a very, very exciting proposition because you know now your place is booked. 

"We've had the draw now. We know who we are playing against and where we are playing, so there are very exciting times ahead.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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