Hodgson will hope a blend of youth and experience can prevail in Brazil.

Manager: Roy Hodgson

World Ranking: 10

Best World Cup finish: Winners - 1966

How they qualified: Finished top of Group H in European qualifying

Fixtures: Group D – Italy (14 June), Uruguay (19 June), Costa Rica (24 June)

Squad –

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster.

Defenders: Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw.

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley.

Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert.

Ross Barkley

Expectations: After years of underachievement at major tournaments, the penny has finally dropped among the English media and supporters. Hodgson's men enter the finals with expectations at an all-time low, despite an unbeaten run in qualifying for Brazil. The regression of the team's talismen, including Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney coupled with a tough group mean progress to the latter stages is but a distant dream. A promising group of young players are waiting in the wings, but they are not expected to be unleashed on a stage so grand.

Star man: Ross Barkley – One of the new breed having enjoyed a tremendous breakthrough campaign with Everton under Roberto Martinez who, in short, is the most talented players to emerge from English shores in a generation. Strong, committed, two-footed, quick and intimidating; at 20 years old Barkley threatens to be the whole package in the tender years of his football career. How much we will see of him is still to be seen.

Prediction: Group stage – The strength of Group D as well as Hodgson's refusal to be expansive will lead to an early exit.