The media are already rounding on England ahead of Monday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland but there are still reasons to be optimistic.
Had Jack Wilshere’s penalty appeal been given and Danny Welbeck’s late strike not so well blocked the Three Lions could have been celebrating a 3-0 win over a Norway team that was set up to frustrate at Wembley.
As such there will be few changes to the side that lines up against the Swiss as Hodgson bids to get England’s qualification journey off to a solid start.
Here James Curtis selects the best XI Hodgson has available to him for the game, for which England are priced as the 17/10 underdogs.
GK – Joe Hart
Produced a good save to deny Joshua King against Norway and lacks any real competition for the number one jersey. A dead cert to start
RB – Chris Smalling
Everton’s John Stones put in a solid enough performance but is better suited to playing centre-half. Smalling has filled in at right back on numerous occasions for Manchester United and has been lining up on the right of the three-man defence this term
His understanding with Phil Jones makes him a better choice than Stones if England are to avoid defeat.
CB – Phil Jones
One of Man United’s best performers – though that’s not saying much – so far and arguably man of the match against Burnley last time out.
Was rarely troubled against Norway but is in good form and is always willing to put his body on the line for the Three Lions’ cause.
CB – Gary Cahill
Showed signs of complacency against Norway and almost gifted the visitors a goal but remains England’s most experienced centre back. Improvement needed but still a shoo in to start.
LB – Leighton Baines
Luke Shaw and Kieran Gibbs are obviously the future but Baines linked up well on occasion with Raheem Sterling against Norway and still poses a real threat going forward.
CM – Jordan Henderson
Looked a little negative against Norway but such discipline could be instrumental if a positive result is to gained in Switzerland.
CM – Jack Wilshere
Almost back to his best, Wilshere gave a high energy performance against Norway with plenty of driving runs and will be a key man against the Swiss.
AM – Wayne Rooney
Undroppable after being made captain, Rooney was disappointing against Norway despite hitting the winning penalty. Could benefit from a drop down the pitch to get more involved and unlock the pace and creativity of the three forwards around him.
FW – Raheem Sterling
England’s best player against Norway, Sterling is fast becoming one of the most exciting players in the squad. His pace and eye for goal this season will be among the Three Lions biggest threats. Lines up on the left but can float anywhere he likes in this formation to cause damage.
FW – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Always shows glimpses of what he can achieve but needs to start contributing more in the ways of goals and assists. This will only happen if he continues to play so gets the nod ahead of Danny Welbeck to start.
S – Daniel Sturridge
A much more potent attacking force than Wayne Rooney these days Sturridge can turn a game on its head with a goal from nothing. His link up play with Sterling and a lack of any real competition mean he will start most of England’s games over the campaign.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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