Roy Hodgson has done what no manager has done for a long time – picked a squad based on form, not who is “Experienced” and plays for one of the big 3/4 teams. Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley would never have made it under Steve McClaren or Sven, they would have picked the safe yet boring option, players like Tom Cleverly or Michael Carrick, and would certainly never have dropped Ashley Cole.
GK’s: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Ben Foster
DF’s: Luke Shaw, Leighton Baines, Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill
MF’s: Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshire, Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, James Milner, Frank Lampard, Adam Lallana
FW’s: Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert
Coach – Roy Hodgson
In a tight group, England fought off Ukraine and Montenegro to win the group and avoid the playoffs. With a few players missing from injury, and a little pressure from the FA to bring through better talent, Roy Hodgson has gone with a very young team, with half an eye on the future. Ashley Cole has not been picked, and has since retired from international duty, and other big names like Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry have not been picked. Some say there was not a great deal of options for Roy, but in my opinion and that of many others, he has picked a good squad. Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling have all been picked on form, which is not done very often with England, and a nice change!
Ones to Watch:
Raheem Sterling – This man had an off spell with Liverpool halfway through the season, but towards the end he picked up where he left off. An exciting, out and out winger – he will be one to beat the full backs and whip in those all-important crosses for Danny Sturridge and Wayne Rooney.
Luke Shaw – At just 18, he is one of the youngest players ever to go to a World Cup with England. Although it is widely expected that Leighton Baines will get the nod infront of Shaw, an injury could see him given a shot against the big guns. Will be interesting to see if he is used, or taken to gain experience.
Daniel Sturridge – He has been on fire for Liverpool this season, with over 20 goals. If England are going to get past the groups, it’s on his shoulders as the main striker, with Wayne Rooney likely to play a withdrawn role like he does at Man Utd.
(4-3-3/4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Wilshere, Sterling, Rooney, Lallana, Sturridge.
A good starting 11 – the back 4 picks itself, but from there onwards it will be interesting. I don’t think that Oxlaide Chamberlain will start, but used as an impact sub. Adam Lallana has played wide right of an attacking midfield for Southampton all season, but could well play alongside Gerrard in his new role, but we think that Wilshere will get the nod on that one. Sterling is pretty much a settled starter, as are Rooney and Sturridge, however in the last game Sturridge was played RW, and Rooney as a striker, but in his form you cannot play him out there, he would be wasted!
Stage of Elimiation:
- Group – 11/10
- Quarters – 11/4
Winner – 25/1
Under 4.5 Group Points – Evens
3-4 Group Points – 11/8
I’m very unsure if England will even get out of the Group Stages – Unless the team gel very quickly and produce a very solid defence against Uruguay and Italy, 11/10 to be knocked out of the Group Stage looks great value. It’s a hard one – being Patriotic, you would hope they would get through, but if your head does the talking – 3-4 Group Points is great value – A win, draw and loss may see England through!
Top Tip – 3 to 4 Group Points – 11/8