Delph and Dawson deserve England chances before World Cup

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It is nice to see that Roy Hodgson is choosing to look at some other possible World Cup options for the friendlies with Chile and Germany.

But, despite the notable call-ups of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez in particular, some decisions still appear a little strange.

When naming his 23-man squad for Brazil, it is pretty certain that Hodgson will take eight defenders, two that are at home in each of the four positions.

Given that Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines are already on the plane barring injury, there is little point calling up Kieran Gibbs.

On the other flank, Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker seem squad certainties, so continually calling up both of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling does not seem the most productive move.

Fair enough, take one for their defensive versatility, probably Jones, as he can also step into midfield if really required, while Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker are both arguably better central defenders than Smalling.

Smalling has only started two league games this season, while Dawson has started 10 and captained a Tottenham team that have conceded just five times.

Caulker has started the same number at Cardiff and there is something ironic in him being overlooked now when he is getting regular first-team football, in comparison to being called up when he was far from this at Tottenham.

The debatable big-team syndrome continues in midfield, with Tom Cleverley and Jack Wilshere playing below their best so far this season, but still making the squad.

If form was taken more into the equation, then Fabian Delph certainly deserves a look in. Delph has scooped Villa’s player of the month accolade for August, September and October.

Meanwhile, he gets around all of the pitch, is not afraid to put a foot in, is reliable in possession and can take on an opponent.

It would be interesting if it was Villa and not Southampton in and around the top four, would Delph have taken a squad spot at the expense of Lallana or Rodriguez?

England remain 22/1 to win the 2014 World Cup, regardless of what final squad Hodgson settles on.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.