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England in-form XI: Former Liverpool man making a Brazil case

| 24.03.2014

It’s that time of the World Cup cycle when every promising performance from an Englishman is quickly followed by a glowing recommendation from his manager about his credentials for the national team.

That’s exactly what happened with one of our England in-form XI debutants, who has perhaps been cruelly overlooked by Roy Hodgson up until now.

Peter Crouch showed Rickie Lambert and Andy Carroll aren’t the only ones battling to be England’s obligatory big-man in Brazil, as Mark Hughes alluded to following the former Tottenham star’s net-rippling display against Aston Villa. Crouch is 20/1 to make a late dash through the departure lounge.


In a week of action where goals were flying in left, right and centre two English keepers managed to keep clean sheets. Joe Hart is the undisputed number one for Rio and is the 1/50 joint-favourite to travel to Brazil.

In front of him is a defensive line no-one expects to see come the summer footballing festivities, with 1/7-shot Glen Johnson the only regular international to feature.

Curtis Davies (16/1) claimed himself an assist and a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over West Brom, while John Stones (20s) showed great serenity both on the ball and in his general play to help Everton overcome Swansea.

Davies’ teammate, Liam Rosenior, who is a 50/1 chance to make the plane, lines up on our graphic at left back for the second time following a solid performance, which he capped with a goal.

Steven Gerrard’s form shows no signs of slipping and the England and Liverpool skipper was again orchestrating a thumping Reds win, this time over Cardiff. James Milner, a 2/5 bet for Brazil, slots in alongside him having turned in a tireless display against Fulham.

Jay Rodriguez will count himself very unlucky should he not realise his 4/1-rated World Cup dream after yet another impressive outing for Southampton against Tottenham, while Cardiff’s Jordan Mutch isn’t the worst 50/1 bet in the land following his two-goal haul.

Wayne Rooney’s David Beckham impression was enough to see him occupy the number 10 spot behind Crouch.

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.