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England in-form XI: West Ham and Southampton players dominate

| 03.02.2014

With the World Cup fast approaching, form is of the upmost importance for English players looking to break into Roy Hodgson’s squad.

Ever the patriots, our news team will endeavour to help Roy in his search for the best players in the land, by picking the best 11 from the weekend’s action eligible to travel to Brazil.

Do you agree with our selection? Who would you take to Brazil based purely on weekend form?


Ben Foster did his chances of manning the sticks for the World Cup opener no harm against Liverpool, playing his part in denying the Reds’ prolific strike duo any more than one goal for the first time in seven games.

In a poor week for English right backs, Kyle Walker gets in despite hardly glowing in Tottenham’s stalemate against Hull, while a brand new centre-back pairing emerged in the form of West Ham’s James Tomkins and Sunderland’s Wes Brown.

Tomkins, a 33/1 shot to make the plane, kept Swansea, and more importantly the in-form Wilfried Bony, at bay for a second Hammers clean sheet in a row. Meanwhile, Brown continued impressing for the resurgent Black Cats in the Tyne-Wear derby, making five clearances, a tackle and an interception.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flexed his central-midfield muscles with a brace against Crystal Palace, a perfectly timed display considering the wealth of in-form wide men England have at their disposal.

Mark Noble, 33/1 to head to Rio, is picked to partner him as the holding midfielder, something he managed with aplomb in east London with five tackles and five clearances against Swansea.

In the attacking three positions, two Adams line up on opposing wings. Lallana bagged himself a goal and was so influential for Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino claimed he is good enough for Spain or Brazil’s national sides.

The other Adam, Sunderland’s Johnson, who is 4/1 to go to Brazil, continued his return to form with a goal against Newcastle while Kevin Nolan’s (40s) brace makes him the easy choice for the number 10 role.

Up front another Saint, Rickie Lambert, is picked to lead the line after having a hand in all three goals against Fulham, scoring one and assisting the other two.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.