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Redknapp almost spot on with his chosen England line-up

| 11.10.2013

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp doesn’t always call it right on the old telebox, but on this occasion his observations are almost as sharp as his suits, as he’s picked 10 of the 11 starters to face Montenegro correctly.

Writing on the Sky Sports website, former Liverpool and England midfielder Redknapp has called it like this:

GK: Joe Hart DEF: Kyle Walker, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines MID: Andros Townsend, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney ST: Daniel Sturridge

England are 4/11 to record a first win over Montenegro at the fourth time of asking.

This formation could be described as 4-3-3 when England are on the offensive with Townsend and Welbeck providing the prongs from right and left respectively, while crucially Rooney takes up the number 10 role behind Sturridge, though it becomes a 4-5-1 when defending.

We’ve all seen how Rooney has thrived for Manchester United in his favoured position off the main striker this season, racking up five goals in his last six starts as he floats into gaps between midfield an attack.

England must utilise Rooney in this position as he can provide guile as well as goals, to feed the Premier League’s leading scorer up front, in Sturridge.

Meanwhile, Welbeck has more than proved his worth for England and has the skill, versatility and work-rate to play off the left. Also, there’s not a better performer on a right flank than Townsend anywhere in the Premier League this season, who possesses the genuine threat to go past people.

The defence largely picks itself with injuries to Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole giving big opportunities to their rivals at full-back, in Kyle Walker and Leighton Baines, while Jags and Cahill are forming a decent partnership.

However, the bone of contention is picking Lampard. If Lampard was pushed on then yes, but alongside Gerrard the balance is wrong.

If Carrick replaces Lampard, then Gerrard has slightly more chance to break forward and link up with club-mate Sturridge and threaten the goal as he did against Moldova, as the Man United midfielder has the discipline to hold.

Later in the game either Lampard or Ross Barkley could be introduced or even Jack Wilshere, though the Arsenal man’s form has been too scratchy to warrant a start.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.