Man United vs Liverpool - Cleverley or Henderson for England?

Both midfielders have shown good form of late and will be in Roy Hodgson’s thinking – but which one deserves to go to the World Cup?

Roy Hodgson will be giving careful consideration to who he will select for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

England’s midfield will be a point of contention, with experienced heads like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and youngsters such as Ross Barkley and Ravel Morrison all in consideration.

Two men that have held their hands up for a place in the squad of late are Tom Cleverley and Jordan Henderson. If you through the likes of Michael Carrick and Jack Wilshere into the mix, there is every chance that these two could well be fighting for one place in Hodgson’s contingent.

Cleverley has been much-maligned over the last 12 months, as after returning from injury his form seems to have dropped. However, in the absence of top-notch central midfield options at Old Trafford, the former Wigan loanee has stepped up to the plate over the last month.

David Moyes has campaigned that Cleverley should be on the plane to Brazil, and there is no doubt that the United man is hard-working, can get box-to-box and would be a versatile addition to England’s squad.

With this in mind, here is what I contend to be Liverpool’s best XI if everyone is fit and available, in a 3-5-2 formation.

GK – Simon Mignolet

CB – Mamadou Sakho

CB – Daniel Agger

CB – Kolo Toure

LWB – Jose Enrique

RWB – Glen Johnson

CM – Steven Gerrard

CM – Jordan Henderson

CAM – Philippe Coutinho

ST – Luis Suarez

ST – Daniel Sturridge

The 3-5-2 system allows Rodgers to play both of his star strikers centrally, with key playmaker Philippe Coutinho in behind.

It also makes the most of two attacking full-backs, with three of four central defenders fighting for a place.

Mamdou Sakho has earned his place in the side, while Daniel Agger is the club’s best defender with the ball at his feet and should play in the centre of the three as a sweeper of sorts.

Between Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel is a tight call, but the Ivorian has looked rejuvenated since his summer move.

John Flanagan is unlucky not to be included after good performances of late, but Jose Enrique gets the nod as he is left-footed and superior going forward.

In the centre of the park, Lucas Leiva is an excellent enforcer, but a partnership of Gerrard and Henderson is more rounded.

Where do Liverpool need to strengthen?

Looking at the Reds’ first team, there are no areas of real weakness that need to be strengthened. There is an argument that a top-drawer left wing-back would add to the team, but Enrique is competent.

In January, Liverpool may look to add a new face or two, but the first team they have seems more than capable of going toe-to-toe with fellow table-toppers this season.

image: © Liverpool pair in the heart of England’s midfield may well be a combination that could work.

image: © geetarchurchy

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