Liverpool pairing a lock for England’s midfield against Italy

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Roy Hodgson will have learned much about the best and worst elements of his England squad after a win and a draw against Peru and Ecuador, but Ladbrokes don’t feel the friendlies have had much of an impact on his first-team thoughts for the Three Lions’ World Cup opener.  

After drifting inexplicably to 1/8 to be in from the off against Italy, Wayne Rooney’s scrappy equaliser against Ecuador in Miami – his first goal in five England games – seems to have assuaged punters’ concerns about the Manchester United striker’s fitness and form.

He’s back into 1/25 joint-favourite with goalie Joe Hart to make the teamsheet for the Azzurri clash, which England are 21/10 outsiders to emerge triumphant from.

Jordan Henderson lined up in what many expect to be the starting XI against Italy in England’s last pre-World Cup Wembley fixture, the 3-0 win over Peru.

The Liverpool midfielder didn’t get too many more chances to impress during a six-minute cameo at the SunLife Stadium, but he’s now 8/15 from 8/13 to partner 1/16 club and international captain Steven Gerrard in the opener.

Following the logic that Hodgson will repeat the starting line-up sent out at Wembley when facing Cesare Prandelli’s men leads to the conclusion that 11/8 shot Danny Welbeck, and not Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, is the preferred choice in the left-forward position and should be backed accordingly.

However, both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley, at 7/2 and 6/1 respectively to take on Italy from the off, were electric against Ecuador, with the former in particular sure to push Welbeck for a spot on the wing if the injury he sustained in Miami isn’t prohibitive.

 

To start against Italy

Joe Hart 1/25

Wayne Rooney 1/25

Gary Cahill 1/16

Steven Gerrard 1/16

Glen Johnson 1/10

Phil Jagielka 1/10

Leighton Baines 1/10

Daniel Sturridge 1/8

Jordan Henderson 8/15

Adam Lallana 4/5

Raheem Sterling 5/6

Jack Wilshere 6/5

James Milner 6/5

Danny Welbeck 11/8

Phil Jones 7/2

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain 7/2

Chris Smalling 9/2

Luke Shaw 6/1

Ross Barkley 6/1

Frank Lampard 5/1

Rickie Lambert 10/1

Ben Foster 16/1

Fraser Forster 50/1

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

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