Milner: England have right blend to challenge

James Milner believes that England have the perfect blend of youth and experience to make a sustained challenge at the FIFA World Cup.

At 28, midfielder Milner represents one of the more senior members of Roy Hodgson's squad. 

Hodgson has entrusted the likes of Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw in a youthful 23-man party for the tournament in Brazil.

Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica provide stern opposition for England in Group D, but Milner is confident the team have the right mix to progress to the latter stages.

"The first game is always important, we need a good result there," Milner said at a fans' forum event ahead of England's opening fixture with Italy in Manaus on Saturday.

"It's out in the rainforest and it's going to be pretty warm.

"With the team we've got, a lot of the lads are in good form and they've had really good seasons. Hopefully they can feed off that energy now.

"As a group going forward we've got great experience (and) a lot of youth. It's a really good mix.

"With that mix of energy, youth and experience, I'm sure we can do good things.

"We have a tough group but with the squad we've got I’m sure we'll do well. Yes, it's tough, but teams are at the World Cup because they're the best in the world."