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England in-form XI: Add a new Southampton name to the Rio pool

| 10.03.2014

Liverpool players dominated England’s recent friendly with Denmark, with five representatives on the field at kick off.

However, it’s surprisingly Southampton who are closest to rivalling the Reds’ monopoly on the squad, with four of their boys getting a call up for that match and a fifth earning a place in our now unrivalled guide to the country’s in-form players:


English goalkeepers in the Premier League are an endangered species. Only two featured in the top flight this weekend and as one of them was the woeful Ben Foster, the 4/5-rated John Ruddy gets in by default for the second week running.

Two of our five Southampton picks occupy the full-back positions with Luke Shaw following up his recent England debut with a man-of-the-match performance against Crystal Palace. The 18-year-old is 2/1 to make it to Brazil.

It’s 10/1 that teammate Nathaniel Clyne joins him but, with Glen Johnson not playing and Kyle Walker used out of position, his solid all-round display rightfully earns him the spot in our graphic.

Following Man United’s win over West Brom David Moyes claimed his centre-back pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could “easily be the two centre-backs for England in the World Cup.”

We disagree strongly though, with brace-bagger Steven Caulker (5/1) and the 14/1-rated John Terry making it in to our team ahead of them. Caulker’s performance was particularly timely given his call-up against Denmark ahead of the likes of Joleon Lescott.

Adam Lallana (4/11) changed the Denmark match when brought on in central midfield at Wembley and he’s picked there again alongside all-action Norwich man Bradley Johnson, who has been knocking on our fake manager’s door for a few weeks and is a 33/1-shot for the World Cup squad.

After scoring and assisting in the absence of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney (1/50) plays as the number 10 with Saints’ match-winner, Jay Rodriguez (5/1) and Cardiff’s impressive Craig Noone manning the flanks.

Rickie Lambert (7/4) completes the Southampton quota after a superb showing against Palace, linking well with Lallana and Rodriguez throughout.

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.