Roy Hodgson's England squad has been facing a handful of injury concerns leading up to the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the latest fitness issue involves Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.
After limping off of the field with a thigh injury during England's training session on Tuesday, the English striker's status is uncertain for the team's World Cup opener against Italy, according to Sky Sports.
If Welbeck is unable to go, it will be a big blow to the team's attack against Italy, but The Three Lions have some potential replacements ready to go in Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley. While Hodgson, who will also likely be without winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, is forced to plan for a possible reshuffling along the front of his formation, he remains confident that some of the young players on his team will be able to have a positive impact.
However, Hodgson does realize that the England fans may need to tone down their expectations.
“The emergence of youth is very exciting. We have a lot of potential, and we have excitement and belief in them," Hodgson told Sky Sports. “But I must advise some sort of caution because these players haven’t had much chance in an England shirt to show that their potential can be realized.
“Before we build people up too much and say how wonderful these young players are, let’s see some very good performances in an England shirt first. We believe they can do it but let’s calm ourselves down a little bit before we say we’ve got world beaters in our squad – to be a world beater you’ve got to go out with your international shirt on and play very well."
England and Italy kick off their World Cup campaigns on Saturday at Arena Amazônia in Manaus. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET.