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Townsend’s World Cup agony opens door to England’s fringe men

| 30.04.2014

As the old saying goes, one man’s pain is another man’s gain. In this case that pain belongs to Tottenham’s Andros Townsend who is set to miss out on being selected for England’s World Cup squad having sustained ankle ligament damage.

Scans on the ankle which Townsend hurt in the final minutes of Tottenham’s last game at Stoke have confirmed surgery is required and a period of around 10 weeks on the sidelines, plunging the winger’s World Cup hopes into jeopardy.

Although Townsend’s fortunes for his club have fluctuated this season, especially under Tim Sherwood – where his appearances have almost exclusively come as a late arrival off the bench – he’s shone on the international stage.

Given a first cap under Roy Hodgson in a crucial World Cup qualifier against Montenegro back in October, Townsend grabbed the opportunity with both feet, christening a stand-out performance with a wonder goal.

He’s since gone on to win four more caps this season, which had ensured Townsend was a widely fancied odds-on chance to make the plane to Brazil.

But while these latest revelations are devastating for the heavily loaned-out Spurs speedster, they are clearly great news for other players on the fringes of Hodgson’s plans.

With the likes of Raheem Sterling (1/16) and Adam Lallana (1/8) seemingly nailed on now, it opens up the possibility that the England boss will call up another potential wide man.

Music to the ears then of players such as Townsend’s Tottenham teammate Aaron Lennon, at 4/1, Ashley Young (8/1) or Sunderland flyer Adam Johnson at 10/1.

Alternatively, other midfield options not assured of a place could see their chances given a boost, namely 1/4 shot Jordan Henderson and Frank Lampard and Ross Barkley, both 1/2 chances at present.

Hodgson will announce his preliminary World Cup squad on May 12th.

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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.