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Relaxed Sturridge Transitioning Seamlessly to England Duties

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Just a few weeks left now before England kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14th, and Daniel Sturridge maintains the relaxed and confident air that brought him success during Liverpool's Premier League season.

Richard Heathcote

England's World Cup squad will be led by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and depending on the selection, could realistically feature five outfield starters. Glen Johnson looks set to start at fullback despite a shaky league season, Gerrard and Jordan Henderson could feature together in the midfield, Raheem Sterling can play anywhere through the forward areas barring striker, and Daniel Sturridge looks set to lead the England attack along with Wayne Rooney.

The Manchester United man's spot looks settled even on the heels of a less than impressive Premier League showing, but Sturridge should be nailed-on after scoring 21 league goals and, injuries aside, putting together his most consistent and impressive year to date. Rooney has the experience, but Liverpool's striker is the man on form, so it's no wonder he's handled the transition to international duty with a mixture of confidence and anticipation:

"It's been very enjoyable, everyone has been training very hard and it's been a very professional camp.It is quite relaxed, but it is very professional in terms of training, in terms of off the pitch, in terms of nutrition. They are measuring all sorts of things and I think it's important. Everything adds to what we are trying to achieve.

"I'm looking forward to it, I can't wait to get there, I'm excited by it all. I don't feel any pressure in terms of the task ahead because we've prepared for this. When you are young you always want these moments. This is my first World Cup and it's a lot of the other players first World Cups. We're just embracing it all, it's not about feeling pressure. For me it's just about playing my natural game and not worrying about scoring goals. When you put pressure on yourself sometimes they don't come and you don't perform as well as you'd like to."

The past eighteen months at Liverpool have seen the former Manchester City and Chelsea striker come on in leaps and bounds both on the pitch and off--previously perceived as arrogant and self-interested, he wasn't ever really in the conversation for a call-up to the England senior squad. Having capitalized on opportunities to flourish in a system set up to get the best out of him, however, he hasn't looked back, and a chance at a starring role for his country is a natural byproduct of the maturation and success he's experienced since making the move to Merseyside.