In the furore of an albeit underwhelming transfer deadline day, the announcement of Roy Hodgson’s first England squad of 2013 was somewhat lost.

But with little over a year to go until Hodgson names his final 23-man squad for World Cup 2014, what indications does his latest squad selection give us as to who will be boarding the plane to Brazil?

Goalkeepers

Joe Hart is unquestionably and deservedly number one choice between the sticks.

Errors have been somewhat more frequent this term for the Manchester City man but nothing to put his place in doubt. 

Jack Butland’s summer move to Stoke will provide him with a full season of Premier League experience leading up to the World Cup, assuming he played ahead of Asmir Begoivc that is, and this will stand him in good stead if required.

But a third choice keeper is a more difficult pick with Hodgson opting for only two keepers in his current squad for Wednesday's friendly against Brazil. 

The debate is whether to go for an experienced head or to opt for a young up and coming keeper, but with Butland as number two, experience would seem more likely.

Fraser Forster and John Ruddy are two viable candidates, and although they lack international experience, they are both used to playing regular first-team football with Celtic and Norwich respectively.

Defenders

With Ashley Cole set to win his 100th cap on Wednesday, his place is guaranteed and Leighton Baines looks likely to continue his role as perennial understudy.

The rest of the defence is up for grabs with John Terry having retired from international football, and Rio Ferdinand seemingly having to be the last man alive to get a call-up, leaving England without a first choice pairing.

Gary Cahill seems to have cemented his place and the likes of Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott look likely to be involved alongside the younger Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, though the latter doesn’t feature in the latest squad. 

Right-back seems more settled with Glen Johnson first choice and Kyle Walker closely behind although Micah Richards will hope to give Hodgson a selection headache.

Midfielders

Captain Steven Gerrard is a certainty alongside Arsenal star Jack Wilshere. 

Tom Cleverley, a regular under Hodgson, the maturing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the versatile and somewhat underrated James Milner are all but guaranteed a spot on the plane too. 

Frank Lampard’s place is much dependant on where he plays his football next year and if he can continue to perform at the highest level.

Michael Carrick will be looking to continue his excellent club form to stay involved with the England setup. 

Elsewhere, Aaron Lennon looks favourite for the extra wide spot but will be under pressure from both Raheem Sterling and new Manchester United recruit, Wilfried Zaha.

Forwards

Wayne Rooney is a shoe-in to have a pre-tournament injury scare but will no doubt be in the squad all being well. 

Danny Welbeck’s performances at Euro 2012 have made him a mainstay under Hodgson but he needs to get regular games to keep it that way.

Similarly, Daniel Sturridge will be looking to build on his good start at Liverpool to keep in the managers thoughts. 

Theo Walcott will go predominantly as a wide player but with the option to be deployed through the middle, leaving one place left for either Jeramin Defoe who brings tournament experience and a proven strike rate, or Andy Carroll who gives England an extra option but needs to stay injury free and deliver consistently for West Ham.

Ultimately injury, suspension and form will play a big part in Hodgson’s final squad but here’s my prediction for how it might look. Do you agree? Leave a comment and let us know your selection.

 

Possible England World Cup 2014 squad:

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Fraser Forster, Joe Hart.

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jones, Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Wilfried Zaha.

Forwards: Andy Carroll, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck.

 

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Topics:
#Internationals
#Joe Hart
#Football
#John Terry
#Joleon Lescott
#Phil Jagielka
#World Cup
#Jermain Defoe
#Wayne Rooney
#Steven Gerrard
#Jack Wilshere