The end of the season is gradually drawing closer which means England boss Roy Hodgson will slowly be drawing up a list of the players he wants to take to Brazil.
What better incentive is there for the Englishmen playing in the Premier League than knowing that a couple of standout performances over the closing games could gain them a seat on that trip.
It’s time to update our feature, naming the starting England XI if the World Cup started tomorrow, which is based on rewarding the players who have just put in good performances for their clubs.
While there will be guarantees for some in terms of starting in Brazil, they may not feature in this side because of injury, suspension or the fact they didn’t have a game.
Last week’s team was: Hart, Clyne, Jones, Carrick, Cole, Lennon, Lallana, Lampard, Johnson, Rooney, Wickham.
Here’s this week’s team.
GK – John Ruddy (Norwich City)
We’ve given Ruddy the nod for this week because he played well, managing to keep a clean sheet in a difficult match at Chelsea.
RB – Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)
The Saints right-back keeps his place in the eleven. He played well against Swansea and seems to be improving in all aspects of his game at the moment.
CB – Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Cahill has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League this season. He’s quick, agile and difficult to get the better of in the air.
CB – Phil Jagielka (Everton)
This may sound like a daft pick considering the Toffees defender saw his side concede three. However, it’s encouraging to see him back in action.
LB – Luke Shaw (Southampton)
This was a difficult one considering Ashley Cole did a decent job for Chelsea against Norwich. Shaw was important against the very attacking and talented unit, which Swansea possess.
RM – Adam Lallana (Southampton)
We had to fit him in somewhere. He looked a little tired in the second-half against the Swans but he leads well and would be our skipper this week.
CM – Ross Barkley (Everton)
Barkley scored a beauty of a goal against Manchester City. He’s a very talented and creative player and if he works hard on the defensive part of his game then he stands a great chance of playing at the real tournament this summer.
CM – Fabian Delph (Aston Villa)
Delph showed plenty of energy, commitment and solid work rate in the game against Hull City. He helped his side protect their advantage once they got in front.
LM – James Milner (Manchester City)
Milner is a safe player to have in any side. He’s not gifted in terms of explosive potential but he does his basic midfield job well.
ST – Rickie Lambert (Southampton)
Yet another Saints star makes it into the predicted side. Lambert popped up with an important goal when it mattered. He’s a humble player, works hard and doesn’t try to do anything special.
ST – Andy Carroll (West Ham United)
Carroll isn’t a popular player with a lot of fans because of his aggressive and physical approach. However, he’s in the side because he can intimidate defences and put them onto the back foot.