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Dynamic Defoe can add new dimension to England’s attack

| 08.06.2010

With Wayne Rooney grabbing headlines for reasons other than his wondrous talent, the fervour surrounding the battle to join him in England’s attack seems to have quietened somewhat.

One player to stake his claim during the 3-0 friendly win against the Platinum Stars was Jermain Defoe, and the Tottenham striker may well have stolen a march on his rivals.

Peter Crouch did not feature against the South African club side, while Emile Heskey has made little impact in his brief cameos from the bench.

Of these two, Crouch certainly has the better club form (eight Premier League goals to Heskey’s three) and the greater international credentials (Crouch seven goals in his last six England appearances but Heskey has the same amount from 58 caps).

It appears, therefore, that the race for the second starting place up front against the USA on Saturday is a two-horse contest between Tottenham team-mates.

Defoe and Crouch formed a potent partnership last season which propelled Spurs to their highest Premier League finish of fourth place, but now the two are in competition for one spot.

The little and large combination provided 26 league goals, but it was Defoe who was most prolific with 18 goals.

Indeed, the former West Ham player has outscored his taller compatriot in five of the last six league seasons.

He also has a reputation for making a big impact as a substitute, having twice come off the bench to score a brace for England, against Holland and Andorra.

Defoe will relish taking on the USA and the relatively weaker Algeria and Slovenia, and at 9/1 he is a tempting bet to replicate that form by being England’s top scorer.

Who do you think will be England’s top scorer? Frank Lampard is 9/2. See the full England Specials market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.