Each Monday until England’s first World Cup game against Italy on June 14, HITC is going to have a go at naming England’s starting World Cup side based on the form of Englishman shown in the latest round of Premier League games.
Here’s our side to face the Italians for this week.
GK – John Ruddy (Norwich City)
Ruddy produced one of his best performances of the season as the Canaries held off Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend. He commanded the defence well and produced a number of top saves.
RB – Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
It was good for England fans to see Johnson back in Liverpool’s starting line-up against Swansea. He was in the top five for stats based on tackles won and duels won over the weekend.
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CB – Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Cahill has been a very consistent player in the heart of Chelsea’s defence all season. He was magnificent against Everton in the face of several players who looked to exploit him and pull him out of position.
CB – Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Unlucky to have been on the losing side against Chelsea. Played well as the Toffees looked good for a point at Stamford Bridge before a late winner from John Terry.
LB – Leighton Baines (Everton)
Baines occasionally has matches where it becomes obvious why David Moyes was prepared to spend so much money on taking him to Old Trafford. Another Everton star who played very well against Chelsea.
RM – Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Seems to get better and better in a Liverpool shirt. He’s quickly becoming arguably Brendan Rodgers’ most important player for his versatility in terms of position and the different roles he can play.
CM – Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Sits, occupies space, plays simple passes and reads the game to make interceptions better than anyone else. Did all of those things well against Crystal Palace.
CM – Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Occasionally has performances for the Blues where he looks like he’s in his early 20s rather than his 30s. The match against Everton was another one and he’d inject more experience into the England midfield.
AM – Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Superb performance against the Black Cats. Rotated beautifully with other players and made himself very hard to pick up. Hodgson could do a lot worse than letting him off the leash in an attacking sense this summer.
LM – Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Sturridge often gets named out on the left for Liverpool but he’s effective coming into the centre of attack. He’d be a great option to have drifting in for England and he produced an important brace against the Swans.
ST – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Rooney played well following news of his new Manchester United contract. Based on current form, Hodgson would be a brace man to start anyone in front of him through the centre of the attack.
image: © kong niffe