England vs Algeria – Gerrard raring to lead from the front

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Steven Gerrard cannot wait to lead England from a more advanced role when they take on Algeria tonight at 7.30pm.

With Gareth Barry returning to his holding role in England’s midfield, captain Gerrard will be given more freedom to roam forward and support Wayne Rooney in attack.

Algeria conceded a goal scored by midfielder Robert Koren in their 1-0 defeat to Slovenia, and if the African side defend as deep against England as they did in their first match, they risk conceding more goals from midfield.

Gerrard will be encouraged by Algeria’s opening display, and the England skipper is a tempting 6/1 to score first, as he did in England’s last game against the USA.

As England’s current top scorer, Gerrard is also enticingly priced at 9/4 to end the World Cup as the leading English scorer.

Whether Capello opts for a 4-5-1 formation or sticks with 4-4-2, Gerrard will benefit from Barry’s steadying presence.

The Liverpool captain is most dangerous when he lurks between midfield and attack, moving into goalscoring positions in the opposition’s penalty area.

Having seen James Milner and Shaun Wright-Phillips struggle on the left side of midfield against the USA, however, Capello may deploy Gerrard in a wider position.

While this may not be Gerrard’s natural habitat, he would still pose a threat when cutting inside onto his favoured right foot.

Wearing the captain’s armband seemed to galvanise Gerrard against the USA, and if he is similarly buoyed tonight, Algeria’s defenders will have a busy evening.

Who do you think will break the deadlock? Wayne Rooney is the 3/1 favourite. See the full England vs Algeria market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.