Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hogson has heaped praise on Daniel Sturridge, comparing the Liverpool forward with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The 24-year-old is expected to lead the English attack alongside Wayne Rooney in the Brazil World Cup after enjoying a brilliant season at Anfield, being second on the Premier League top scorers' list just behind Suarez with 21 domestic league goals.

After struggling at Chelsea playing on the flank, he has reached his peak under Brendan Rodgers in a striking role.

However, in an interview with Spanish AS, Hodgson claims Sturridge can match Suarez, Ronaldo and Messi in the World Cup playing with more freedom in the attack and not just as a number nine.

"Sturridge is a curious case. What position does he play? Is he striker, attacking midfielder or winger? He is like Luis Suarez, he appears in all parts of the attack. In fact, you can say he is like Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, offensive players who can appear where it hurts the opponent more. They are unpredictable."

Questioned whether he will try to take advantage of Liverpool's successful season to use the same style with England, Hogson said: "People will talk about Liverpool style but I believe it was more about their players, some of them had an amazing season".

"The boss put them in positions where they felt comfortable and where they complemented well with their mates. That's what I will try to get: to hurt the rival as quickly as possible with the ball and recover it back as soon as possible."

Asked about how he planned to stop Andrea Pirlo in their first game against Italy after they struggled in the Euro 2012 (being defeated on penalties), he said: "We have to play much better than then, with more energy and running more."

"It will be the first game so we must be more consistent than in that game. We must get that they worry about our attack. Italy had too much possession and we spent too much time defending. Now we want Italy, and other teams, to wonder how to stop Gerrard and Rooney."