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Five Three Lions fringe players: Who could roar for England?

| 09.10.2014

England’s Euro 2016 qualifiers against minnows San Marino and potential roadblock Estonia are a just around the corner, so Coral writers have taken a peek at which players could come in from the cold and take the chance to impress.

These encounters with some of Europe’s lesser lights, and the absence of key men, are the perfect opportunity for relative newcomers and fringe players to stake a place in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI.

Nathaniel Clyne
An unfortunate injury to Everton defender John Stones, who has been the starting right back in England’s last two outings, could pave the way for Clyne to receive his long-awaited international debut.

With Glen Johnson, Phil Jones and Kyle Walker also sidelined, the slot is certainly there for the taking. Clyne’s main competition will be from former Southampton clubmate Calum Chambers, who has impressed as an attacking presence on Arsenal’s right flank, but does not yet provide the stability and balance that Clyne can offer.

The Crystal Palace academy product has had a slow ascent to football’s top-flight, but is the more reliable for it. That is not to say that in-form full back Clyne cannot offer support up front, as the 23-year-old recently illustrated with his thumping winner against the Gunners in the Capital One Cup.

Fabian Delph
Delph will be hoping to earn his second cap and build on what was an impressive bow against Switzerland last time out.

The Aston Villa midfielder was awarded a yellow card on that occasion, but will probably not be required to put in as much of a defensive shift against San Marino. He is available at 16/1 to show off his more attacking attributes and hit home last against the Mediterranean minnows.

Delph did provide greater balance on the left of the Three Lions’ midfield diamond and, after another all-round display of energy, nous and thrust against Manchester City, would not be such a surprise starter this time around.

Fraser Forster
Forster is one of those who has been on the fringes of the first team for some time, and will be hoping his summer switch from Celtic to the bright lights of the Premier League will see him finally trade places with Joe Hart.

Despite conceding against Tottenham last time out, the Saints stopper has kept four clean sheets in all competitions so far this season, and deserves a chance to claim the number one jersey.

Currently, Forster has been capped just twice, but Hodgson could benefit from providing Hart with a real threat to his place, as the City keeper’s future and form is once again under the microscope.

Adam Lallana
The former Southampton skipper is 5/1 to fire home first against San Marino, and seems to be finally finding his feet with new club Liverpool, after netting his first for the Reds against West Bromwich Albion. Lallana’s impressive contribution of nine Premier League goals to Southampton’s cause last term saw him ushered into England’s fold for the World Cup, but he has so far failed to make himself a regular.

Lallana could potentially enter double figures and be awarded his 10th cap over this international break, though, perhaps rotating in to help rest Raheem Sterling at the tip of the diamond, or providing more guile from the left.

Jonjo Shelvey
Surprise Swansea City inclusion Shelvey has been quietly going about his business this campaign, and is an integral piece in the puzzle of the Welsh club’s fine start. With just one solitary cap, earned in 2012 against San Marino, Shelvey could now gain his second against them, and is 4/1 to score against the Mediterranean outfit or Estonia.

The 22-year-old’s recent goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge has shown he has the appetite for big games, and the inclusion of the midfield maestro is good news for Three Lions fans who want to see England improve their passing game and experiment with fresh faces.



Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.