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England World Cup media talk 13/06/14

13 June 2014

By Rhys Griffiths

Here are a selection of Friday 13th June's big stories from the media covering the England team as they prepare for their opening game of the World Cup against Italy tomorrow in Manaus.

Welbeck declares himself fit for opener (The Guardian)

Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck has declared himself fit to feature in England's World Cup opener against Italy tomorrow, the Guardian reports.

The 23-year-old is expected to train with the Three Lions squad in Manaus today after recovering from a slight thigh strain in training earlier in the week. His availability will be a boost to England boss Roy Hodgson, who has favoured the United man during his tenure as manager.

Italy left-back De Sciglio out of England game (The Guardian)

The Italians have suffered an injury blow in the build-up to the England game after losing first choice left-back Mattia De Sciglio to knock picked up in training yesterday, the Guardian reports.

If the AC Milan defender is unable to participate in the tournament then Italy boss Cesare Prandelli may draft in Internazionale player Andrea Ranocchia.

Concerns remain over state of Manaus stadium (The Mirror)

Just days before England's opening game workers appeared to be spraying the patchy pitch with a green substance to try to make it look better, the Mirror reports.

A FIFA spokesman told the paper: "The pitch in Manaus has been undergoing treatment in preparation for the FIFA World Cup. Over the last three months, mitigation procedures have been put in place and there continues to be, significant improvement."

Dutch referee to take charge of England opener (The Telegraph)

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers will be the man with the whistle when England face Italy in their first Group D match in Manaus tomorrow.

The 41-year-old is widely considered one of the top officials in the game and he refereed this year's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

These stories have been selected from a variety of today's media sources and they do not represent the views of The Football League.

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