Can England's Liverpool contingent emulate that night in Munich?

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

The likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson will hope to go one better than Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Nicky Barmby this summer.

England's World Cup bid all of a sudden appears to hinge on two respective Premier League teams after last night's dour 1-0 win over Denmark.

Were it not for the introductions of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, plus the impressive cameo of Raheem Sterling, Roy Hodgson's team would have been left toiling towards the unwanted record of being the first England team in 33 years to fail to score at home in three successive matches.

Southampton and Liverpool have arguably been the stories of the Premier League season, particularly the former, whose conveyor belt of talent continues to churn out a host of top players but the Reds' attacking triumvirate of Sterling, Wednesday's matchwinner Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have produced exhilarating football on a weekly basis to fire them into title contention.

The best part of it all is that two of the trio are English and while the other can be expected to haunt Hodgson in Brazil this summer for Group D opponents Uruguay there is a sense that this exciting Liverpool attack can form the basis of the England midfield and forward line for this summer.

The Reds have become synonymous with famous England showings ever since THAT night in Munich and Hodgson will be hoping skipper Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, too, can evoke the spirit of 2001.

Germany had only lost one World Cup qualifier at home in their history but England's Liverpool contingent had plainly not read the script as they tore into their hosts with Michael Owen the star of the show, as he netted a stunning hat-trick.

Gerrard himself handed England the lead right on the stroke of half-time as Sven Goran Eriksson's men turned the game on its head following Carsten Jancker's early opener, which was sandwiched by Owen's opener - teed up by a fellow Red in Nicky Barmby.

The second period saw Owen grab two and Emile Heskey another, with Heskey setting up Owen for his second and Gerrard releasing him for his treble.

The win could not have been more attributed to Liverpool's fearless forward players and England fans will hope for something similarly remarkable this summer.

Sterling offers a directness, pace and a reliable final product which England have lacked in years, while Henderson is the brawn to Gerrard's brain in the centre of midfield, offering industry and a combative nature to his work.

It speaks volumes about the skipper that he remains so integral to his country and the World Cup will prove no different. England will need him firing on all cylinders to ensure the stay in Brazil is not a brief one.

Likewise, much will be expected of Daniel Sturridge, who took his goal superbly and, if his 18 Premier League goals are anything to go by, represents England's brightest spark in front of goal.

Lallana and Shaw may have stole the plaudits for their duck-to-water transferral to the international stage but last night's display may just be the start of another England success story born and harnessed on Merseyside.

image: © kuaver

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