Football

Four Southampton players competing for England World Cup spot

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Lallana, Lambert and Rodriguez have all been called up to the England squad (©GettyImages)
Lallana, Lambert and Rodriguez have all been called up to the England squad (©GettyImages).

There have always been a few wildcards in every manager's World Cup squad, and this year will be no different for Roy Hodgson. Many people are speculating about his potential choices, particularly in defence.

Luke Shaw

The highly rated left-back is another product of Southampton's successful youth academy. His attacking nature as well as defensive capabilities have caught the eye of many top teams, and there are rumours that Manchester United and Chelsea are prepared to enter a £30million+ bidding war over him.

He has represented England at Under-21 level several times and has secured a first-team spot at Southampton.

Competition: Shaw will have to compete with Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines for the left-back spot. Hodgson can only take two of the three. Cole has been one of the best defenders in the world in recent years, but his game time at Chelsea has been limited and he is past his best.

Baines has had a great season so far at Everton and his free-kicks are a great asset to the team. His form was hampered by a toe injury but if both Cole and Baines stay fit, it is unlikely that Shaw will make the team. He remains, however, one of England's finest young talents.

Adam Lallana

Southampton's influential captain has won many plaudits in his second season in England's top-flight division. His quick feet and footballing brain earned him a call-up to the England squad in the friendlies against Chile and Germany.

Although his involvement in the game was restricted due to the quality of opposition, Lallana showed glimpses of what he is capable of and many think he could provide the missing spark in England's midfield.

Competition: Steven Gerrard has sealed a place as captain. The other contenders for midfield are Frank Lampard, Ashley Young, Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Jack Wilshere, James Milner, Scott Parker as well as the impressive young Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson.

One other name that has been thrown into the mix due to recent performances has been Adam Johnson, although he will need to keep his form up if he is to have any chance.

Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert

In his first season in the Premier League following a £9million move from Burnley, Rodriguez was used sparingly under Nigel Adkins. However, when Mauricio Pochettino took over, he became an integral part of Southampton's attack.

The 24-year-old was called up with Lallana for the England friendlies, but failed to truly show his quality.

Rickie Lambert has scored over 100 goals for the Saints, and has been one of the most prolific strikers in England in recent years. It is no surprise then, that he was called up to the England squad albeit at the age of 31. He scored on his debut against Scotland before netting in a WC qualifier against Moldova.

With Theo Walcott's injury ruling him out of the World Cup, England may need some extra firepower upfront and Rodriguez or Lambert could provide that.

Competition: Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck all seem to have booked their places in England's squad and - providing they all stay free from injury - that only leaves one other space for a striker.

If it were to come down between Lambert and Rodriguez, Hodgson would choose the more experienced Lambert, who has shown that he can score at international level.

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Topics:
Maxi Rodriguez
Rickie Lambert
Luke Shaw
Jay Rodriguez
Southampton
World Cup
Adam Lallana
England Football
Football
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