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Premier League

Hull City v Southampton: Steve Bruce backs Hull players for England World Cup team

Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Curtis Davies could all be selected

Steve Bruce, the Hull City manager, expects tonight’s match with Southampton can provide food for thought  for Roy Hodgson.

The England manager was in attendance when Hull defeated Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, with home winger Adam Johnson the main item on his agenda. However, an early red card for Sunderland’s Wes Brown largely spoilt his chances of making an impression.

Yet Bruce believes that if Hodgson manages to make it to the KC Stadium this evening a few of his own players – such as Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Curtis Davies – are capable of catching he eye.

“There’s always a shock and I wouldn’t be surprised if one [of Hull’s players] might sneak in [to the World Cup squad],” Bruce said. “All they can do is keep playing well and keep knocking on the door. There’s always one or two shocks, there’s a long way to go before the World Cup.”

Southampton’s English contingent boast a likelier chance of going to Brazil this summer, with Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez all featuring under Hodgson in recent months.

Meanwhile, ahead of his side’s trip to Cardiff City, the Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert, has called on his side to show the same fight as last season in their battle to avoid relegation.

“There are two ways to look at it – it will either take you under, or you thrive on the challenge,” said Lambert, whose side are four points clear of the drop zone. “It’s the same as last year. You either meet it head-on or it takes you under. We came through last year when we were in a worse position than now, so we will come through this one.”