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Hodgson should start Lallana and Sterling against Denmark

| 04.03.2014

England face Denmark at Wembley in a friendly of utmost importance, as time to assess his best team is running out for Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

Although Hodgson must have a finger on the nucleus of his starting XI to face Italy in England’s opening game of the World Cup, there are still plenty of question marks over the personnel who will fill in the gaps.

With the unfortunate Theo Walcott certain to miss the tournament, the wide positions in either a midfield four or alternatively in a three-pronged attack, would appear to be up for grabs still.

Plenty of players have tried out, but as much Premier League football has elapsed since England last played back in November there are some whose cases have grown stronger at others’ expenses.

Whichever side Hodgson sees fit to pick, England are still warm favourites to see off the Danes at 4/6 and two players who deserve their chance are Southampton’s Adam Lallana and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.

Incidentally, these two players join up with England fresh from doing battle in the Premier League, where the former was indisputably the best player on the pitch in the first half, while the latter scored with his first touch as Liverpool defeated Southampton 3-0.

Lallana is a wonderful technician and a constant goal threat, while Sterling’s electric pace and deft feet have been terrorising top-flight defences while simultaneously helping to precipitate the Reds morph to becoming genuine title contenders.

With only three caps between them, though, these two need further minutes to test their metal on the international scene as there’s only three more games left before they face Italy.

While Hodgson has plenty of other quality options to select from such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and James Milner, Hodgson knows what he is going to get from them.

Sterling is currently a 6/5-shot to make the World Cup 23 and the Liverpool man must be put on a show to ensures he does not get left behind when Hodgson draws up his final list.

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

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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.