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England’s World Cup striker options: The battle of the big men

| 12.05.2014

Roy Hodgson has already spoken of the tough decision he faced in leaving Ashley Cole out of his squad to travel to Brazil for the World Cup, but he surely won’t be too tested when jotting down the names of the men that are going to get his goals at the tournament.

Two Englishmen finished the season in the top four of the Premier League’s scoring chart, while the other has become a Hodgson disciple as the boss’ tenure has worn on.

That leaves three men battling it out for one potential spot in the squad. Here are the options:

Wayne Rooney

Rooney has been the favourite in the England squad betting market since the book was opened and was one of few shining lights for Manchester United this season, scoring 17 league goals.

Rooney has never scored a World Cup goal and saying the 38-goal international is overdue a strong major tournament showing is like telling your toddler not to put Lego in their mouth.

However, not being the sole focus of England’s hopes could just coax that out of him at last.

Daniel Sturridge

England’s leading scorer in league competition this season, Sturridge has three goals in 10 appearances for his national side.

Provided he isn’t asked to play a defensive role on the wing, the 24-year-old should take his league form into his first ever major tournament.

Danny Welbeck

The Manchester United man is a trusted Hodgson pick these days as his pace and eager running make him a useful commodity to the former Fulham man should he wish to employ Welbeck out wide.

Has developed a goal-scoring knack with Three Lions on his chest that will likely earn him plenty of minutes in Brazil.

Rickie Lambert

The Southampton forward should win the battle of the big men with West Ham’s Andy Carroll thanks to 13 league goals and a further 10 assists.

Will be the focal point of England’s “plan B” should they need a more direct style of play.

Andy Carroll

Injuries and suspensions have simply not given the former Newcastle giant enough time on the pitch to press his case for inclusion firmly enough.

Jermain Defoe

A move from Tottenham to MLS franchise Toronto FC probably killed off any hopes of Defoe making the plane, while the fact he’s not even the top-scoring Englishman in that division sounds the knell.

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.