With the World Cup less than 60 days away, the footballing world will descend on Brazil, let's examine each individual nation, focusing on the nation, likely squad to go, key player, player to watch and the manager. This is focusing on England.
England going into this World Cup have little pressure but the media as always highlight every move, whether it be the next big star, or the manager doing something out the ordinary. It's every game and tournament this is showcased but for once the approach seems a bit different, will that matter, time will tell. Let's examine the likely squad that will descend on Brazil.
The predicted 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster and Fraser Forster
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill.
Midfielders: Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard (captain), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Tom Cleverly, Jordan Henderson, Michael Carrick, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere.
Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert,
Key player: Wayne Rooney. As someone who has never quite performed in the major international tournaments, could this be the time he truly shows his talent in a major way? His goals could truly determine what happens to England in this World Cup.
Player to watch: Adam Lallana. A mainstay in the Southampton midfield and recognised as a solid Premier League player, the World Cup could be his ticket to a bigger club, as Liverpool and Manchester United are two teams touted in being interested. If given enough time to showcase, this potentially could be the case.
The manager: Roy Hodgson. His extensive record as a manager is impressive, winning numerous trophies and enjoying much success. His only notable blip was at Liverpool. His international experience will be crucial, having coached Switzerland, UAE and Finland.
In his 25 games in charge of England, his record of 14 wins, eight draws and three losses is impressive, while two of these losses came recently to Chile and Germany and the third being against Italy in Euro 2012.
Their group is a tough group to qualify from with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Uruguay on current form should top the group, so it's between the other three to fight for second. With Italy defensively sound and a thorn in England's side especially at Euro 2012, I'm sure that their first group game will be decisive to where they end up in the group.
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