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JT still going to World Cup as five centre-back slots get filled

| 13.02.2014

Rightly or wrongly (the latter), Roy Hodgson has ruled out a return to the England centre-back roost for Chelsea skipper John Terry, who retired from international football shortly after the start of the World Cup qualification process.

However, where one JT will be remaining on the England shelf indefinitely, there is another who has been busy staking his claim and that’s West Ham’s James Tomkins.

Below, along with their actual odds to make the 23-man England squad, we’ve made Hodgson’s central defensive decisions for him by including Tomkins in our list of candidates we’d be taking to Brazil and which ones we think will make do watching it on the telebox.

Phil Jagielka (1/14) YES

Now an absolute fixture for England, Everton’s tenacious defender bedded himself into the starting XI during the second-half of the qualification process and as his odds suggest he’s there already.

Steven Caulker (5/1) NO

Being forced to escape White Hart Lane in search of first-team football, big things were expected from Cardiff’s new man this season. However, being part of the top-flight’s second-leakiest defence has done him no favours.

Michael Dawson (7/1) NO

Overlooked by nearly every man in the England hotseat, the Tottenham stalwart gets overlooked by us too as his best days are behind him at 30, while his alck of pace has always worked against him.

James Tomkins (33/1) YES

As his odds suggest, Tomkins will not be making many people’s England shortlists, but after playing a pivotal role in a Premier League defence which has kept 13 cleans sheets this season it’s time he stepped up. He is composed on the ball and brilliant the air.

Chris Smalling (4/6) YES

The first of two Manchester United men with the ability to cover other positions, the former non-league man started as first pick for Hodgson in the early part of qualification. He has aerial ability and an imposing frame.

Ryan Shawcross (12/1) NO

Although Stoke’s captain has improved, this World Cup is set to pass him by. His ability to throw himself in front of a shot is unquestionable, but he lacks the requisite refinement in possession.

Gary Cahill (1/14) YES

If only Hodgson had welcomed his Chelsea defensive partner back in from the wilderness the pair could have replicated the most robust Premier League pairing going at the heart of England’s defence.

Curtis Davies (20/1) NO

The Hull man is certainly one who enters into the most improved category, after swapping a myriad of midlands clubs for Humberside, though at 28 he’s never fulfilled his early promise. Still, he could be a wildcard.

Joleon Lescott (6/5) NO

Poor old Joleon has gone from title-winner to part-time Peter at Manchester City and now whenever he plays he looks shot of confidence and capable of making a mistake.

Phil Jones (2/7)YES

The final man to take up a spot in the central defensive/defensive midfield berth is United’s Mr Nomadic. He is a player of explosive power and aerial ability, while his ability to switch roles shows he has ball skills to match.

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

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Author

Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.