Roy Hodgson tips Daniel Sturridge to shine for England against Republic of Ireland
Roy Hodgson is looking forward to unleashing Daniel Sturridge in England's friendly against the Republic of Ireland.
Last Updated: 01/06/13 11:28am
The 23-year-old Liverpool striker is set to make his first start for his country at Wembley with Danny Welbeck rated a major doubt due to a knee injury.
Sturridge, who has earned five England caps from the bench, has scored 11 goals in 16 appearances for Liverpool since his January move from Chelsea and Hodgson is confident in his ability.
"Daniel Sturridge has been an enormous talent for many years," said Hodgson.
"Chelsea paid a lot of money for him from Manchester City before he'd broken into their team but he's been more of a regular at Liverpool.
"He's grown in confidence and week after week now we are seeing all the qualities we've always known he had.
"In the same way Danny Welbeck did, we are hoping Daniel comes in and brings us something with his incredible pace, footwork and technical ability to help us win matches.
"This will be an opportunity for him to show he can do it at a higher level."
Sturridge is expected to partner Wayne Rooney in the England attack and Hodgson has backed the Manchester United striker despite his disappointing end to the season.
"If anything I find Wayne's desire stronger than when we first met," said Hodgson.
"I have nothing but the greatest faith in him. I know he'll be really desperate to get out and show how desperate he is.
"Good players can have bad games, it's not an exact science. But my faith in Wayne Rooney has never wavered."