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Man City-targeted full-back gets handed first England call

| 27.02.2014

On the same day that free-spending Manchester City became linked with a move for Luke Shaw, Roy Hodgson included him in an England squad for the first time.

Announcing a party of 30 to take on Denmark in an international friendly at Wembley, the England boss handed Shaw a major World Cup boost by including him alongside fellow left-back rivals Leighton Baines and Ashley Cole.

At 2/1 to make the plane to Brazil, Shaw will undoubtedly have a chance to shrink that price considering both Baines and Cole are seasoned international performers who Hodgson will know all about.

Having never worked with the 18-year-old before, Hodgson is bound to hand the Kingston-upon-Thames native his first cap and an impressive performance can see him leapfrog Cole in the pecking order, given the Chelsea man’s ageing legs and lack of club game time.

Elsewhere in the squad, Shaw’s club captain Adam Lallana looks set for a World Cup start having made the squad as one of two in-form wingers in the squad.

Another, Sunderland’s Adam Johnson, missed out on the cut for the Denmark clash, indicating that his chances of a Rio runout are dead and buried. His odds to make the World Cup squad, which shortened to 4/1 after some sumptuous displays, are likely to drift now.

Instead, Andros Townsend was persisted with despite having barely featured for Tottenham recently.

That means Lallana and fellow flyer, Raheem Sterling, look primed for big Brazil roles with only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in any real form to rival them for a start.

There were more goalkeepers named in the squad than there were centre-backs as Steven Caulker joined Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling, while John Ruddy, Fraser Forster and Ben Foster will battle to be Joe Hart’s deputy.

Andy Carroll was overlooked in favour of the Canada-bound Jermain Defoe, while Tom Cleverley doing nothing for Manchester United seemed to do nothing but persuade Hodgson to stick by the maligned midfielder.

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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.