England World Cup Stock Report: Three up, three down

Wembley England

Which players enhanced their chances of breaking into Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, and whose chances took a hit?

Three Up

Rickie Lambert, Southampton - the burly striker is not only fighting for a spot in England's World Cup squad, but also a spot in Southampton's starting line-up. He missed out on that on Saturday, but came off the bench to hit the second goal in the Saints' 4-2 win over Norwich. With playing time hard to come by under Mauricio Pochettino, it's important that 32-year-old Lambert hits the back of the net whenever he can, and he did that at weekend.

Jay Rodriguez, Southampton - with Lambert out of the starting line-up, Rodriguez got the nod up top and impressed throughout against the Canaries, capping off a fine display with the third goal for Pochettino's men. He also went close with a stunning long range strike,but had an excellent game in front of England boss Hodgson, who attended the game at St. Mary's Stadium.

John Flanagan, Liverpool - this isn't a flashy choice for England but there are serious questions at right back for England. Kyle Walker has had an average season and with little depth behind him, Flanagan is making a real case to be in Hodgson's thinking. He had another outstanding game at right back for Liverpool, shackling Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj whenever up against them.

Three Down

Tom Huddlestone, Hull City - many fans and pundits alike have been adamant that former Spurs star Huddlestone deserves consideration for his displays under Steve Bruce this season - but Saturday was not his best game. Manchester City went down to ten men early on, but Huddlestone failed to really take over the game in the heart of midfield, looking slow and sluggish throughout - which will not have helped his already lengthening chances of breaking into the squad.

Andros Townsend, Tottenham Hotspur - Townsend became England's saviour during qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland earlier this season, but has failed to take off since then. A number of mediocre displays have hurt Townsend's chances, and he was underwhelming once again in yesterday's North London derby. With Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressing, Townsend could need a strong end to the season.

Ashley Cole, Chelsea - another game, another place on the bench for Cole. The 33-year-old is struggling to beat Cesar Azpilicueta to the left back spot in Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side, and with Leighton Baines almost certainly starting in Brazil and Luke Shaw pressing for an inclusion in the squad, Cole's could England career could be coming to and end.

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