Liverpool players top performers ahead of England friendly
England manager Roy Hodgson will be relieved to know that just one out of his 30-man squad picked to face Denmark on March 5th is set to miss out – Kyle Walker due to a hip problem that made him miss the game against Cardiff. England are 4/6 favourites to win.
The Premier League and Capital One Cup final games, played on March 1st and 2nd, were all overshadowed by the probable first-of-a-kind manager head-butt of Alan Pardew on Hull City’s David Meyler, but elsewhere it was fairly quiet for English players.
Not one Englishman from the victorious Manchester City team featured in the Capital One Cup final, with Joleon Lescott (5/1 for World Cup call-up) and recent national picks Joe Hart (1/50) and James Milner (2/5) being unused subs.
The only England squad members to score at the weekend came in the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool, with the latter winning 3-0. Raheem Sterling (10/11) calmingly slotted home for his side’s second, while captain Steven Gerrard (1/20) netted at well-hit penalty in injury time.
Southampton’s starting lineup contained four players set for the Wembley showdown with Denmark, with new call-up Luke Shaw (9/4) as well as Rickie Lambert (5/2), Adam Lallana (10/11) and Jay Rodriguez (5/2). Unfortunately none of them could produce a performance to impress Hodgson.
Daniel Sturridge (1/20) will have been disappointed personally not to continue his run of scoring in eight successive league matches but he will no doubt be one of England’s main threats in the summer. The former Chelsea striker can be backed at 66/1 to win the World Cup Golden Boot, or 7/2 to finish top England scorer.
Elsewhere, Andros Townsend (2/5 to make the World Cup squad), Gary Cahill (1/20), Ross Barkley (1/2) and Leighton Baines (1/20) all featured in victories for their respective teams, with the latter providing a late assist for Romelu Lukaku in Everton’s 1-0 victory over West Ham.
Baines is likely to start for England in their first game in Brazil against Italy (odds of 5/6), following Ashley Cole’s continued lack of first team action for Chelsea, and turned in another impressive display at Goodison Park.
Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (10/11 to make the 23-man squad for Brazil) and Jack Wilshere (1/8) were present in the 1-0 surprise defeat at Stoke City, with the former coming on as a late sub.
John Ruddy (10/11), one of four keepers called up to the recent England squad, let in four goals at the weekend away to Aston Villa and will be vying for a World Cup place with the likes of favourites Fraser Forster (4/7) and Ben Foster (2/5) for the second and third goalkeeping positions.
Surprise call-up Steven Caulker also featured in his side’s brave 1-0 loss at Spurs, and his odds have been recently cut down to 3/1 to make the summer squad.