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England: Predicted starting XI in Brazil

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GMS Academy member Chris Turkington predicts who will start be on the England plane to Brazil next summer. 

Goalkeepers:
Joe Hart is the obvious first choice but will need to find his way back into a regular place in the Manchester City, his name alone will not be enough to impress Roy Hodgson.

Other choices include John Ruddy, Fraser Forster and Ben Foster.  

Ruddy hasn’t had the best of seasons at Norwich (only Fulham have conceded more goals) and Forster doesn’t play in the most prestigious of leagues (SPL) so is rarely tested. Foster is a fine goalkeeper but has expressed his desire to only play for England if he is the out and out number one.

Right-backs: There are three main candidates here - Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson and Micah Richards.

Walker is the favourite, he has huge pace giving a very useful outlet in attack but his lack of defensive awareness has punished him at times.  

Johnson has his fair few injury woes but is the best all round right-back of the three and has been on fine form this season in a Liverpool team with big aspirations.  

Richards is more of a wildcard. He has fallen out of favour the last year or so and will struggle to be fit for the World Cup but is by far the most competent defensively of the three and the most physically able.

Centre-backs: Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill appears to be Roy Hodgson’s favourite partnership and the one I would expect to play, few come close to their ability.

Options are the inexperienced Phil Jones and Chris Smalling who make up for their lack of appearances with their athleticism.

They can also fill in at full-back making them useful utility players. Steven Caulker, Joleon Lescott and Michael Dawson are also possibilities but would likely be just squad players.

Left Backs: It boils down to Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines. The latter is an awesome crosser of the ball and offers set piece options while the former is far superior defensively and has plenty of experience at major tournaments.

The choice will probably come down to form in the league and the team England are playing, I would expect Cole to play against better attacking teams. Kieran Gibbs could also play as a backup.

Left midfield/wing: England have perhaps two out and out left wingers, Ashley Young and Raheem Sterling.  

Sterling is inconsistent and without experience while Young is very much out of favour with just about everybody but David Moyes.

However James Milner, Leighton Baines, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck and Andros Townsend could all drift from their regular positions to fill in here. My favourite would be Baines or Lallana. Welbeck doesn’t have the technical ability to play on the wing. Townsend and Milner are best suited in their regular positions (RW and CM respectively).

Central midfield: Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Michael Carrick, James Milner and Jordan Henderson are the most likely starters.

Gerrard as captain will be one of the first names on the team sheet. I would expect Milner to join him due to his exceptional recent form, his versatility and his work ethic.

However Henderson could sneak into the side as he has made himself quite the unsung hero this year at Liverpool. Lallana could play but would most likely prefer himself further up the field. Ross Barkley is a wild card option, one Hodgson might be in favour of but would most likely slot in closer to the striker.

Right midfield/wing: Theo Walcott is out. Aaron Lennon is a one dimensional player. Milner would probably play in central midfield.

That leaves Townsend who is flashy but often lacks end product. Time and time again he will bomb down the wing, beat his man but then fail to deliver a decent ball into the box. He also goes missing far too easily in games. However Hodgson faces little other choice.

Strikers: Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert, Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe are your options.

Defoe does not play regularly enough for me so doesn’t make the cut. Rooney has to play simply as he’s the best player at Hodgson's disposal.

Sturridge had a great start to the season but endured an injury setback which could stifle his form but he is at the moment next best for the striker role even if his passing (or rather lack of passing) lets him down.

Welbeck has a great partnership with Rooney and never fails to make great runs even if his goalscoring in the league is poor. The Manchester United forward is also one of the few players that seems to play well in an England shirt.

Lambert and Carroll are the alternatives when its just not working and you are desperate for a goal. Carroll is unlikely to be fit and Lambert is on great form so has to go to Brazil.

Predicted starting 11 (4-2-3-1):

Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Milner; Townsend, Rooney, Young; Sturridge

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Topics:
World Cup
Premier League
England Football
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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