England will head to Rio de Janiero facing a tough group in the upcoming 2014 World Cup. The Three Lions’ defence will be tested against the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani after England drew Uruguay in Group D. They will also be up against the Italians who knocked Roy Hodgson’s side out of Euro 2012. The group is completed with Costa Rica who are no doubt the underdogs in arguably the group of death.
With England’s domestic season roaring to a conclusion with almost no difference at the top and bottom of the table. We take a look at who will be vying for their chance to fly to Brazil.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)
Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Joleon Lescott (Manchester City)
Michael Dawson (Tottenham)
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
England will be without former captain John Terry who led the Three Lions at the last World Cup in South Africa and will be hoping that the partnership of Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill will flourish to keep out the attackers of Uruguay and Italy. At left back, the battle continues between the ever-reliable Ashley Cole and the attacking Leighton Baines but both should make the squad. Kyle Walker is seemingly the preferred right back linking up with fellow team-mate Andros Townsend down the right side.
Glen Johnson is expected to provide competition for the Spurs full back but after a disappointing season for Liverpool which has been troubled with injuries, Walker should hold the starting berth. Chris Smalling will provide a viable option at centre back and the versatile Phil Jones can slot in all across the backline.
Kieran Gibbs and Luke Shaw are set to battle it out as left back understudy with some feeling the Southampton defenders deserves a call up whilst others feel his is too inexperienced to make the grade just yet. Joleon Lescott is an outsider but will be considered if need be. Ryan Shawcross and Michael Dawson will also stake a claim after impressing for Stoke and Tottenham this campaign.