England boss Fabio Capello has revealed his squad numbers for the World Cup in South Africa, with Joe Cole, David James and Peter Crouch in his first 11.
James has been given the number one jersey, while Crouch is handed the number nine shirt ahead of Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey.
Cole gets the number 11 jersey and now may have a chance of starting against the United States on 12 June.
As expected, Spurs winger Aaron Lennon will wear the number seven.
Holding midfielder Gareth Barry, an almost certain starter before suffering an ankle injury on 5 May, has been given the number 14 shirt. It remains to be seen whether he recovers full fitness in time for Capello to play him in the opening match.
If not, the squad numbers suggest Joe Cole will play on the left of midfield, with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard reunited again in the centre.
Robert Green's excellent display against Mexico last week saw many observers tip him to be England's first-choice goalkeeper at the tournament but Capello has chosen to give the West Ham keeper number 12, with Joe Hart wearing 23.
The Italian has preferred Heskey up front throughout most of England's successful qualifying campaign, with Wayne Rooney also admitting he enjoys playing with the burly Aston Villa striker.
But Crouch has been given the prized number nine shirt - worn by the likes of Peter Beardsley and Alan Shearer in previous World Cups - and now appears to be the favourite to start against the States.
The squad numbers do not confirm which players are first-choice, but they are usually a good barometer of who is likely to play in the opening match - barring injuries.
"No one's safe," said captain Ferdinand. "The manager isn't scared to leave out people with big reputations if he feels they won't have a positive impact on the squad.
Goalkeeper James now looks in pole position to start in England's first match
"Reputations may have got in the way in the past, but it is difficult being the England manager. You have to be experienced and have a strong character to deal with the pressure, and he [Capello] deals with everything in the right way.
"It's impossible to second-guess the manager, to know what he is thinking. There's no room for complacency, perhaps that's a better way of putting it. You can't say to yourself, 'If I have two or three bad games, I'm still going to play', which was the attitude of some in the past."
Gerrard, meanwhile, is refusing to look too far ahead but is confident England can top their initial group.
"I think we can get out of the group as winners and then we take the last-16 challenges on," he said.
"I do not really want to look any further ahead but we have a good mix of experience and fresh talented youngsters."
Capello has nine days of preparation with his squad before their opening Group C match at the 45,000-capacity Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The team landed at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport at 0800 BST on Thursday after an 11-hour flight from London.
The squad headed straight to their base for the duration of the tournament, the newly built multi-million pound Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus at Rustenburg.
Full England World Cup squad numbers
1. David James 2. Glen Johnson 3. Ashley Cole 4. Steven Gerrard 5. Rio Ferdinand 6. John Terry 7. Aaron Lennon 8. Frank Lampard 9. Peter Crouch 10. Wayne Rooney 11. Joe Cole 12. Robert Green 13. Stephen Warnock 14. Gareth Barry 15. Matthew Upson 16. James Milner 17. Shaun Wright-Phillips 18. Jamie Carragher 19. Jermain Defoe 20. Ledley King 21. Emile Heskey 22. Michael Carrick
23. Joe Hart
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