By the time the World Cup comes around England's team will have changed dramatically from the eleven that turned out against Italy in the quarter-finals of the European Championships last year.

Below is an opening XI that could start for the Three Lions in Brazil 2014.

Joe Hart

Hart isn't having his best seasons in a Manchester City shirt, but he is still one of the best goal-keepers in the world and is a shoe-in for the number one jersey next summer in Brazil. The other two goalkeepers I expect Roy Hodgson to take with him are John Ruddy and Ben Foster, after the latter recently made himself available for England selection. 

Glen Johnson

Beating Kyle Walker to the starting right-back position, only by experience, Glen Johnson gets my nod to start. Johnson has been a consistent performer and always looks like one of those players who really cares about pulling on the shirt for his country. 

Many would expect Roy to take Micah Richards to Brazil, however I feel that Richards has the capability to travel as a centre-back, which could open the door for young Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who is having a great first season in the Premier League.

Gary Cahill

One of the best young centre-backs in Europe, Gary Cahill is almost already thinking about who he is going to share a room with in Brazil. A good all round defender who isn't too out of his depth in the opposition's area. Cahill has the capability to be the next John Terry, one of the best centre-backs to play for England. 

As I previously mentioned, I can see Micah Richards being second in command for Cahill's position, instead of travelling as a Right-Back. 

Chris Smalling

England's stand out performer on Tuesday night against Montenegro, Chris Smalling has shown everyone he can do it on the big stage, despite being well down the pecking order at Manchester United. Smalling pips Joleon Lescott to the starting place purely down to age, these two are good centre-backs, but for me, Smalling and Cahill will work better together. 

Ashley Cole

The experience of Ashley Cole will do wonders for the back four, even if he is playing in the left-back role. Cole is one of England's most decorated footballers and will provide a wealth of knowledge and experience, which will not only rub off on the defence, but also the rest of the side. Cole pips Leighton Baines, who is having yet another stellar season for Everton, and also young hot prospect Luke Shaw will also be in contention. 

Jack Wilshere

Arguably England's best young player, and maybe even England's best midfielder by the time Brazil comes around next year, Jack Wilshere is not only my starting choice to sit in-front of the defence, he is also my choice for captain. 

A typical English footballer with a touch of South American flair, Wilshere is not afraid of a challenge, but he also has the ability to take it past three players and fire it into the top corner. 

Steven Gerrard

Despite being 34 at the time of the tournament, Steven Gerrard lives, breathes and eats football, and his desire to run out in Brazil will be higher than any. Having said that, I feel Gerrard won't be able to complete that many games in the tournament, hence giving Wilshere the captaincy. 

Because Gerrard won't be able to complete as many games, England will need strength in depth, and that is why I would take another mixture of new and old with Jordan Henderson and Scott Parker being just two of the deputies, with Jack Cork and Michael Carrick also travelling to Brazil.  

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

I have chosen to take 'The Ox' in the starting eleven to Brazil because you know what you are going to get with him, much like Wilshere, he has the fight and determination of a true Englishman, but he also has the flair that England need to go far in this tournament, something which I feel is seriously lacking. 

As cover for Chamberlain I would take Sunderland's Adam Johnson, who has been to international tournaments, as well as Manchester United teenager Wilfried Zaha, one of England's hottest young prospects, who I feel has the ability to set the Premier League alight. 

Tom Cleverley

Tom Cleverley would play in the role just behind the striker in the Central Attacking Midfield position. Cleverley does not have the best scoring record for England, but he is a player who can link up well with the other midfielders and the strikers, enabling the wide men to get forward and maybe get on the end of some crosses, but I wouldn't rule out Cleverley getting a few goals at the tournament. 

If worse comes to worse, Cleverley can swap with Wilshere, who poses more of a goalscoring threat. As cover for Cleverley I would take Danny Welbeck and Leon Osman, both of whom have the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. 

Adam Lallana

Possibly the most controversial and most debated selection in this article, but I feel that, based not only on his performances in the Premier League this season, but also his performances last season in the Championship.

Adam Lallana has the skill and the quality to beat any defender on his day, and possesses a laser-like accurate right foot, mixed in with the passion that any footballer needs to succeed, and that is what I feel sets him apart from the likes of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing - both of whom look like they don't really care if they play for England or not.

Having said that, Young and Downing would be the two players I would have waiting in the wings to pounce on any opportunity they get given. 

Wayne Rooney

The choice of the lone striker in this team was a relatively simple one, England's best striker by a long way is my choice to lead the line for England in Brazil. Rooney's passion and determination are perfect examples of what a footballer needs to be like to succeed in the modern game. Rooney never gives up, even when isolated on his own, he will always chase the ball like a dog in a park chasing a tennis ball. As cover for Rooney I would take Jermaine Defoe and most likely Daniel Sturridge, who has made a good start to his Liverpool career and is thriving under Brendan Rodgers.


These choices are obviously my own opinion and you are going to have yours, so if you disagree with any of the choices I have made, feel free to comment below with your suggestions.


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