Roy Hodgson selected the final England squad for World Cup in Brazil. Clearly, he chose youth over experience, and it will be very interesting to see how this new and fresh team will perform. Here is the squad:
Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Brom), Fraser Forster (Celtic)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Leighton Baines (Everton), Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, capt), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Ross Barkley (Everton), Adam Lallana
(Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Ricky Lambert (Southampton).
Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Ruddy (Norwich City), John Stones (Everton);
When we look at the list, we see that Hodgson selected only one classic right back – Liverpool’s Glen Johnson. It is expected that United’s Smalling and Jones cover that position too, although their primary position is central defender.
With steady form in the end of the season, Hart surely “bought” the number 1 spot.
Everton’s Jagielka and Baines should be in starting lineup too, with Gary Cahill and probably Johnson. However, it is possible that Jones feature on right back too as a starter.
In midfield positions there are lots of newcomers, and it is really hard to predict who will clinch starting 11 spot among them. Probably Gerrard and Lampard won’t feature together like they did in recent years, it is expected that Chelsea’s central midfielder be on the bench.
Milner and Henderson will compete for second central midfielder spot, while Lallana and Sterling should have an advantage over Chamberlain on the flanks. Jack Wilshere will most likely be the “joker” from the bench.
In attack spots, Rooney and Sturridge will start the first match for sure.
England will have a tough task surviving the group with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Italy and Uruguay have clearly more quality players at the moment, but England have an advantage in the fact that they have a lot of universal players, and Hodgson had that in mind when he selected this squad.
Nevertheless, this will be one of the most interesting groups in Brazil for sure!