2014 World Cup: Predicting England’s Starting XI

2014 World Cup: Predicting the England Squad's Starting XI

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England will live and die by their attackers in Brazil this summer, as it is clearly their strongest suit. Taking a very young group of attackers may seem risky, but it should pay off if they can execute properly and keep their nerves. Let’s take a look at who will make up the possible starting eleven Roy Hodgson figures to employ for England heading into the group stages.

GK- Joe Hart

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GK- Joe Hart

England v Denmark - International Friendly
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England have been craving stability at the position considering all of the blunders that English goalkeepers have committed in recent memory. Hart has been solid all year for Man City where he averaged conceding less than one goal per game. Barring a meltdown he should play just about every match.

RB-Glen Johnson

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RB-Glen Johnson

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Johnson has endured up and down form and a string of injuries for Liverpool this season. If he is back to full health by the World Cup, he represents the Three Lions' best option at right back, as he has the ability to cover plenty of ground and push forward when needed.

CB-Gary Cahill

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CB-Gary Cahill

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Cahill provided Chelsea with stingy defense throughout the BPL season, and England will rely on him heavily throughout the tournament. As one of the most experienced and consistent center backs on the squad, England won't go very far in the tournament without some stellar play from Cahill.

CB- Phil Jagielka

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CB-Phil Jagielka

Hull City v Everton - Premier League
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He will likely be considered the weak link of an already shaky defensive group. However, he does represent the best option to pair up with Gary Cahill since he is just returning from injury and should be totally fresh for the tournament. One interesting fact about Jagielka is that England has never lost a game in which he played for them (eight wins, three draws).

LB- Leighton Baines

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LB- Leighton Baines

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One of the most electrifying defenders in all of England will be on display in Brazil. Baines is a smart defender who can provide bombing runs down the left and provide support for the midfield. England will have to snuff out teams with their attacking prowess. Baines can provide an extra punch from the back which could really bolster the already skilled England attack.

CM- Steven Gerrard

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CM-Steven Gerrard

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Gerrard is the heart of the England midfield and the skipper as well. Many of the younger players will look to him for leadership. He can provide stability to the defense, soaking up pressure in front of the back four just like he did in his new role at Liverpool this past season. His ability to pass the ball to just about anywhere on the pitch coupled by elite vision will be vital to setting up the England attack as well

CM-Jordan Henderson

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CM-Jordan Henderson

Liverpool v Oldham Athletic - FA Cup Third Round
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This is one of those "Why not?" selections since he's been playing so well for his club lately. Henderson's superb form coupled by Frank Lampard's lackluster form should give Roy Hodgson all the reason he needs to put Henderson in the midfield. Henderson will also fit better into England's attack-minded midfield since he has shown a desire to push forward this season for his club.

LM- Adam Lallana

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LM- Adam Lallana

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Lallana has been one of the hottest players in the Premier League this season, and he has already seen teams in the top four jostling for position to lure him away from Southhampton this summer. According to Squawka Football, Lallana has created 68 chances this season, which is higher than any other English player. That statistic alone should be enough reason for Hodgson to inject him into the starting lineup.

RM- Raheem Sterling

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RM- Raheem Sterling

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Many people who have watched Sterling closely have been amazed at how strong he is at holding much larger players off of him. In a friendly in March, it was only Sterling's second cap and he produced a man of the match performance. It was a clear signal that Sterling is ready to play with the best, and he deserves to be starting. He can cement his position in the lineup for many years to come.

ST- Daniel Sturridge

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ST- Daniel Sturridge

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Sturridge lit the Premier League on fire this season as one of the spearheads of Liverpool's lethal attack. 25 goals in all competitions this season should be enough of a reason for Sturridge to get the starting nod in Brazil. His ability to score goals, create chances and just flat out scare defenses should make opposing defenses respect him and open up some much-needed space for his strike partner.

ST- Wayne Rooney

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ST- Wayne Rooney

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No other player on the England squad has been scrutinized more than Rooney. He has been to two World Cups previously and has no goals to show for it. The emergence of Sturridge should only help to ease some pressure off Rooney. he Man. Utd. striker scored 19 goals for his club this season. If he can find some of that steady play that he showed during the season, he could provide the spark that can push England deep into the tournament.

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