Robbie Savage: Roy Hodgson will be "safety first" at the World Cup

Robbie Savage
© BBC
Robbie Savage tips England manager Roy Hodgson to adopt a "safety-first" approach at this summer's World Cup.

Robbie Savage believes that England manager Roy Hodgson will adopt a "safety-first" approach at the World Cup.

The Three Lions boss won widespread plaudits for picking a youthful-looking squad with an average age of 26, and the likes of Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley all head to Brazil as international novices, but in form after impressive seasons.

However, Savage thinks that the coach will choose Frank Lampard and James Milner in midfield alongside Steven Gerrard when the tournament gets underway.

Writing in his column in The Mirror, Savage said: "If Frank Lampard and James Milner start, I would not be surprised to see them in the side to face Italy in the World Cup opener on June 14.

"I would be even more surprised if they finished the tournament in Hodgson's first-choice team.

"My best guess is that Hodgson will play Lampard and Milner instead of Jordan Henderson and Sterling in a safety-first move to avoid defeat in England's first game."

England play Italy on June 14 in their opening group game, before meeting Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 2, 2014
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