JUST five days are left before the World Cup in Brazil opens with the hosts taking on Croatia and the whole bawl and gain rigmarole will unfold.

Following on from last week's World Cup special, this week's poser asked the sports-deskers to name who they think Roy Hodgson should start against Italy in England's opener against Italy in Manaus on June 13. So, as the fans might chant, 'ere we go, 'ere we go...

Stuart Martel, sports editor

I don’t feel able to name a starting XI for Roy Hodgson as I haven’t watched a Premier League or international football match for at least six years (as previously referred to in the TKO column).

The soap opera that accompanies top-level football in this country is a total turn-off, so that’s what I do – turn off.

Dave Flett, York City reporter

England team (4-3-3): Hart; Johnson, Smalling, Jones, Baines; Wilshere, Barkley, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sterling, Sturridge, Rooney.

No combination of the players Roy Hodgson is taking to Brazil is likely to see England come back with the World Cup so I am desperate just to see some progress being made. That means greater energy and technical ability in midfield and some pace in defence.

Stevie Gerrard got cramp after an hour in Euro 2012 and will probably wilt in Brazil. Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka will also flounder against the movement of the world’s best strikers.

I am staggered that Jack Wilshere is unlikely to start. He should be our captain and Phil Jones should also be our first-choice centre-back, probably with somebody like the on stand-by John Stones alongside him. With this system, Wayne Rooney and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also swap roles during the game.

Peter Martini, York City Knights reporter

England (4-1-2-2-1): Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard; Barkley, Wilshere; Sterling, Rooney; Sturridge.

As an Italy supporter, I’d like Hodgson to pair Chris Smalling and Stan Laurel (Phil Jones) at centre-back. Gerrard and Frank Lampard must start in midfield as they’ve never been able to play together and will simply try to out-do each other with long diagonal balls into touch. Danny Welbeck and Rickie Lambert can pose bluster and size but little threat up front.

As an England supporter, Jagielka and Cahill form the best centre-back pairing of a bad bunch, while Baines’ dead-ball delivery could be vital.

England must attack like Liverpool and Wilshere and Ross Barkley behind Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Rooney can bring the necessary fluidity, movement and pace. Rooney can also drop on to Pirlo to stop him controlling the game when Italy have the ball.

Steve Carroll, The Press racing writer and snooker reporter

England (4-4-2): Hart; Johnson, Jagielka, Smalling, Baines; Lallana, Gerrard, Wilshere, Sterling; Rooney, Sturridge.

Most of this team, regardless of how you may feel about England’s deficiencies at centre-back, picks itself.

The big question is who will partner Gerrard in central midfield. While I believe Hodgson will plump for Jordan Henderson, I’d personally look at Wilshere.

I want England to play with a lot of width, hence Adam Lallana and Sterling in midfield and I’d be extremely disappointed if Sturridge isn’t leading the line given the season he has had for Liverpool.

Josh Luckhurst, sports journalism student

England team (4-3-3): Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Henderson, Gerrard, Barkley; Lallana, Sturridge, Sterling.

The back-five speaks for itself in Joe Hart, Johnson; Cahill, Jagielka and Baines. I would go for a midfield three of Henderson and Gerrard with arkley just in front. Lallana on the left, Sterling to the right and in the middle with Sturridge.

Leaving Rooney out could be a shock and it is hard to leave out a top player but I think dropping him could make him have the hunger for other matches. I can’t remember him being dropped and even though he hasn’t played bad this year, Sturridge has been better. Wilshere could have come in for Stevie G to keep the ball as good ball retention is key to wearing down the ageing Italians.

Tony Kelly, deputy sports editor

England team (3-4-3): Hart; Smalling, Gerrard, Jagielka; Johnson, Wilshere, Barkley, Baines; Lallana, Sturridge, Sterling.

Coincidentally, the oldest and youngest of our sports-desk panel agree on one thing - omitting Rooney from the opener against Italy. There's no doubting Rooney's talent, but for me he is the archetypal flat-track bully - brilliant in qualifying, blunt at the sharp end of tournaments.

Observers always say it's important not to lose your first group game. It's paramount to win it because the rest of the group then plays catch-up, so I believe our young guns should go be unleashed gung-ho against Italy. Maybe bring on Rooney for late impact.

Convinced any central axis featuring Cahill is vulnerable - he is is a mistake waiting to happen - I'd also deploy captain Stevie G to operate from an even deeper quarter-back position in a back three flanked by Chris Smalling and Jagielka. Forza Inghilterra.