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Hodgson: Team GB has helped players

England manager Roy Hodgson believes players such as Daniel Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand and Tom Cleverley have benefited from their involvement with Team GB at the Olympics.

Hodgson backed GB coach Stuart Pearce's assertion that Sturridge and Cleverley were ready to step up to senior international level as he prepared to name his squad for the England friendly against Italy later this month.

He could use the game to give playing time to some non-regulars, and told FATV: "Most of them [GB players] are pretty much ready anyway, but one or two of the younger players like Bertrand and Sturridge and players like Tom Cleverley, who is coming back from injury, may have not been quite so much a fixture in their teams.

"Let's hope the Olympic experience with Team GB has given them a better chance of staking a claim for a regular spot."

Scott Parker is likely to be ruled out of the friendly, while England regulars including John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole may sit it out.

"There will be players involved in that game who weren't part of the Euros and I'm sure Italy will make changes too, so it won't be two similar line-ups but it will be quite interesting to play so soon after our elimination against them [in Euro 2012],'' Hodgson said.

The England boss said it had been hard to "keep tabs" on players because of the distances some leading clubs had travelled for pre-season fixtures.

He explained: "Most of the top clubs have travelled to places like America, China and South Korea, so it has been difficult to keep tabs on it.

"But we've done the best we can over the last couple of weeks before Friday's squad announcement. I will be relying on what we know about the players and using the information and the knowledge that we used before picking the Euro squad to pick a squad for this one."

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