England In-Form XI: Two Spurs stars make late plays for the plane
The latest edition of the weekly England In-Form XI features the usual blend of uncapped players and those whose international window is viewed to have either passed or expired without ever being opened.
Whether that is a positive, showing that even those with only the slimmest chance of a call-up are giving it there all with just three Premier League games to play, or a negative as it means that several squad certainties are being outshone, is for the reader to decide.
However, it is reasonable to suggest that if this was the team that England put out in their opening World Cup fixture against Italy, there would be plenty of support for the Azzurri at 7/5 to triumph:
Three Lions number one Joe Hart – the 1/50 joint-favourite of all candidates to make the cut – gets the gloves with the minimum of effort after conceding once in a composed but uneventful display against West Brom.
Ben Foster, John Ruddy and David Stockdale all leaked three.
John Stones (8/1) and Scott Dann earn their centre-back spots for keeping two England international strikers quiet in Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll.
Leighton Baines’ strong performance and converted penalty in Everton’s victory over former suitors Manchester United gains him the left-back jersey, with fellow Merseysider Jon Flanagan occupying the other flank.
Neither Steven Gerrard (1/33) nor Gareth Barry (8/1) are among the Premier League’s paciest practitioners at 33, yet few would dispute their billing as two of the division’s outstanding deep-lying midfielders this term.
Both were exceptional again over Easter, as was Raheem Sterling (2/7) further forward in Liverpool’s win at Norwich, demonstrating to Roy Hodgson that he is a valid option as a number 10 as well as out wide.
Nathan Redmond (20/1) was one of England U21’s few bright lights at last summer’s European Championship and also the chief reason why Liverpool only left Carrow Road with a 3-2 success, so is rewarded with a place in the front three.
The Birmingham-born speedster is joined by two more men unlikely to be called upon in Brazil, who were heroes of Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over Fulham: Aaron Lennon (7/1) and Harry Kane (50/1).
Lennon put in one of his most threatening 90 minutes of a troubled campaign, while striker Kane continued his hopeful late push with a third goal in as many matches.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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