Time for Sturridge to cement his place in the England team

Daniel Sturridge has had a brilliant start to the season with Liverpool and looks set to be handed a start in tonight's match against Montenegro

Since his move from Chelsea to Liverpool in January of this year, Daniel Sturridge has shown that he is one of the best strikers in the country. It seems that he is finally coming of age, after all the years of promise at Coventry City, Manchester City and Chelsea, he looks settled at Anfield and his clearly enjoying his game. Now comes the step up to international football and the next two matches could show us the true level of where the 24-year-old is at.

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It isn't easy adapting to international football. Many strikers; prolific in the Premier League, failed to transform that to representing England: Andy Cole, just one goal in 15 appearances for England; Robbie Fowler only won 26 caps and managed seven goals; Ian Wright, nine goals in 33 games. The aforementioned are three of the highest scoring players in the history of the Premier League but never quite did it internationally.

Sturridge now seemingly has a chance to stake his claim for a permanent spot in the side, ahead of Danny Welbeck, who is clearly admired by Roy Hodgson but is capable of playing wide allowing Sturridge and Wayne Rooney to also play.

With Jermain Defoe not being given many starts, it seems this could be a serious option for the England manager to use for the foreseeable future. Ricky Lambert and Andy Carroll could offer different options, but right now a Sturridge-Rooney combo looks like the strongest pairing.

See also: 5 uncapped players who could make England's World Cup squad

See also: Can Townsend steal Walcott's England place permanently?

They'll need able support though, and that is likely to come from Lampard and Gerrard in central midfield. When fit, Theo Walcott would be able to get behind the defence, but today it seems like Welbeck and the experience of Milner will be on the wings.

Wayne Rooney has failed to have a consistent strike partner since Michael Owen. Emile Heskey linked up well for a while but since then he has either played on his own or had others come in and out of the side.

Some consistency would be pleasing if Sturridge was to become his usual strike partner, and on paper it looks like a menacing attack. The Birmingham-born Liverpool player has scored 19 goals in his 25 games for the side so far. It is clear that he is benefitting from being put at the heart of the team for the first time in his career.

The absence of Luis Suarez allowed him to blossom by himself and the return of the Uruguayan has now helped him further. His confidence is at an all time high, and it is the perfect time for him to step up and show he can be a key player for England for the next few years.

Over to you, Daniel…

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