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Hodgson Reveals England Plans for Gerrard and Flanagan

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England will get their preparations going in earnest for the World Cup over the next week, but Roy Hodgson has already laid out his plans for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and young fullback Jon Flanagan.

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Alex Livesey

Fitness pending, Liverpool will have at least five players in the England squad for this summer's World Cup, with Steven Gerrard leading the way as captain and each of Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, and Glen Johnson included as well. If Liverpool work out a deal with Southampton for Adam Lallana that number could rise to six, and, if needed, Jon Flanagan is available as a standby to potentially give Brendan Rodgers' squad seven players in the final 23-man squad.

Speculative as it might be in the case of the final two, that's an impressive amount of players to have involved, and there's an argument to be made that at least three or four should be starting on a regular basis. For Gerrard a starting spot is secure, but there's a chance it could be his last involvement in a major cup competition for England. If Roy Hodgson has his say, however, he'll have his captain around indefinitely after they return from Brazil:

"It would be the wrong time at this moment to start discussing 'what about 2016? What about 2018'. I did at one stage broach the subject with him and he knows I would like him to go on beyond this World Cup because he's still such a good player with Liverpool and in great form and it would be a disappointment for me if he decides ‘no, that's enough for me internationally'. He knows what I think but I will choose the right moment to bring it up."

Flanagan's fate is far less certain in terms of making a matchday squad, as it's dependent on one of those in the current 23-man squad picking up an injury. Encouraging, though, that Hodgson wants to take Flanagan along for the trip regardless, which would be an honor in and of itself for a player whose progression over the past calendar year has been nothing short of remarkable.

"I haven't had a chance yet to speak to Brendan or Roberto [Martinez] but they've been so supportive so I'd be a bit surprised if they don't think it's a good idea."

Which makes plenty of sense, if only for the young fullback to serve as Cafu's guest of honor.