Potential England World Cup attack - youngsters given the nod

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One of the oldest questions in the book will be thrown at Roy Hodgson this summer: youth, experience or a blend of both?

England have often gone with the safe route of having a mixture of both, but this summer is a prime opportunity for Hodgson to bring in some fresh faces for England. Despite a group of players being heralded as the golden generation back in 1996, this batch have never won an international tournament, or progressed past the quarter-final mark.

2010 was a weird World Cup for England, it was the first time the Three Lions went into war knowing that their home country didn't expect them to bring home any silverware. Many of the golden generation were present when England were brutally knocked out by Germany losing 4-1.

We had John Terry at the heart of the back four, Frank Lampard in the middle of the park and even David Beckham in his tailored FA suit standing on the sidelines trying to whisper in Fabio Capello's ear.

It is time England tried to find a new set of players to rely on and it has to come this summer as the majority of England's senior statesmen are now in their mid to late thirties. While I am positive that some of the older members will be present in Brazil, Hodgson has the chance to bring in England's youngsters and play a brand of football the nation have been lacking for as long as I can remember.

We can all accept that England would have to do something incredible to win the World cup. However even if England are knocked out at the group stages playing a young team, would a team full of players in the twilight of their careers really do much better?

This is not a prediction of how I believe Roy Hodgson will set his attack up, but it is how I hope the attacking side of the team looks on their opening match against Italy.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Striker - Daniel Sturridge

Based on form alone, Daniel Sturridge has to be leading the line for England come July. The striker has scored 21 goals in 28 appearances this season, a goal tally only bettered by his strike partner Luis Suarez.

Claims of selfishness still mar Sturridge's reputation, however his seven assists have helped to get rid of these criticisms. Furthermore Sturridge has scored such a differing range of goals this season, netting from outside and in the box or using his head to get on the scoresheet. While Wayne Rooney is certain to be on the plane, Sturridge's pace, quick feet and knack for getting a goal should see him starting up top for the team.

Left Attacking Midfield - Adam Lallana

Lallana has once again been the stand out player at St. Mary's. The midfielder has scored nine goals and has created a further six. Lallana is the only player within the England squad that has the technical ability to keep up with the likes of Spain or Germany. Like Arsenal forward Santi Cazorla, Lallana is more than competent with both feet.

This would allow him to interchange with both Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling and create a dangerous attacking triumvirate. Despite only having three caps to his name, Lallana came on and changed England's last outing against Denmark, coming on in the 59th minute to set up Daniel Sturridge for the winner. As well as this he has been captain of Southampton for a few years now and will help Gerrard to lead this young team.

Central Attacking Midfield - Ross Barkley

While I am sure Wayne Rooney will be starting in behind Sturridge, Ross Barkley has done enough to warrant a starting place among the squad. The 20-year-old has become the starlet of Goodison park with a number of impressive performances. As his goal against Manchester City illustrated, Barkley clearly has a touch of class to his game.

However Barkley's ability to beat a man is what really stands out. After scoring against the likely champions, Barkley took the ball the length of the field before setting up Steven Naismith with a chance. This is the kind of player England need. A man in the middle to take the ball from defence into attack with one defence splitting run. Barkley is the best central English player at doing this, bar none.

Right Attacking Midfield - Raheem Sterling

This season Raheem Sterling has emerged as one of the deadliest attacking players in the league. Whether it be at the tip of a diamond or on the wing, Sterling can consistently beat his marker and with a 82% passing completion rate often finds his man. The 19-year-old has scored nine goals and assisted a further five, leading Brendan Rodgers to claim he is the best young player in all of Europe this season.

Sterling has caused defenders all kind of problems with his pace this campaign, England would need to find a way to utilise this to get the best out of Sterling. This would be done by recreating Liverpool's tactics this season. Have Gerrard sitting deep with the pace of Sturridge and Sterling higher up the field latching on to his inch perfect passing.

Left Defensive Midfield - Steven Gerrard

There was always going to be one player who would break the young mould of this squad. But once again based on performances, there is no one better than the Liverpool skipper.

The England captain has scored 13 goals this season and with his 86% passing rate has assisted a further 12 more. Gerrard's role for Liverpool has been reinvented and can easily be replicated for England. Having a menace such as Jordan Henderson to do the leg work, Gerrard can sit back and help the defence before launching passes to get the team on the front foot.

After seeing the Premier league title all but fall through his fingertips, Gerrard will want a final international send off and he is sure to get one.

Right Defensive Midfield - Jordan Henderson

Unfairly labelled as a headless chicken for all the running he gets through, Henderson has shown both his ability and importance to Liverpool this season. He is never afraid to get on the ball and keep his team ticking over. His impressive 87% passing rate shows that he is the man to keep possession in the middle of the park.

Furthermore he has set up seven goals this season. While Michael Carrick will be sad to miss out, Henderson offers more on the defensive side of the game, which is important when looking at the attacking intent of this lineup.

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World Cup
England Football
Adam Lallana
Jordan Henderson
Steven Gerrard

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

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