Zaha favoured to graduate to England squad for World Cup

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Wilfried Zaha is the only man expected to graduate to the senior England side in time for next summer’s World Cup, should the Three Lions make it of course.

Currently a member of Stuart Pearce’s squad for the European Under-21 Championship, the Manchester United winger can be backed at 5/6 to make the plane to Brazil.

This seems very short, given that his first season at Old Trafford could see his first-team opportunities restricted. Those who’re seeking better value bets should look to the goalkeepers in the under-21s.

Stoke’s Jack Butland is available at 6/4 and, after making the cut for Euro 2012 with the seniors, he looks a shoo-in should he avoid injury.

Aside from Joe Hart, England are incredibly short of net-minders with Roy Hodgson having to recently coax Ben Foster out of retirement to make up the numbers.

Butland is almost certainly going to travel with the senior team next summer, while 16/1 shot Jason Steele is not entirely without a chance.

It seems unlikely that two inexperienced keepers will be included in the final squad, but those who have seen both stoppers in action would attest to the fact that there’s not a great deal between them in ability, despite the extra hype that Butland is subject to.

Should Middlesbrough’s number one secure a move to the Premier League this summer, he’s definitely not without a chance of making the plane.

Other members of the current crop of junior Lions in with a shout of making World Cup 2014, Steven Caulker also offers better value than Zaha.

The Tottenham centre half has enjoyed more first team exposure under Andre Villas Boas and plays with a maturity that indicates he’s sure to be an England regular one day.

If AVB entrusts him with even more first-team responsibilities next season, his 3/1 price could prove an excellent punt.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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