Aston Villa winger James Milner knows he faces stiff competition for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Villa teammate Stewart Downing and Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole are both returning from long-term injury.

Milner said: "You want the best squad possible so it is a good thing to have Joe Cole getting fit again. He is a top player and I can learn a lot off him watching him play.

"It is a good thing he is coming back fit and hopefully we can get as many England players as fit as we can to go there with the strongest possible squad.

"Joe Cole has got fantastic ability. He seems to have changed a bit as a player as he has got older but he has got fantastic ability and can play in a few positions and is a top, top player.

"It is also great to have Stewart nearly fit. He was a regular with England squads before his injury and is a top player."