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England In-Form XI: Chelsea man reignites chance of Brazil berth

| 28.04.2014

Chances to impress Roy Hodgson before the England manager names his final 23-man squad to travel to the World Cup in Brazil are ticking down very quickly.

For the outsiders in the betting, regular appearances in this now-famous in-form graphic remain their only hope of alerting the former Fulham man to their talents, as he no doubt peruses the pages in search of the customary shock call-up.


John Ruddy was on the wrong end of a 4-0, Ryan Giggs-inspired, thumping for Norwich against Manchester United. But, it was almost single-handedly down to the baldy stopper that the Canaries didn’t ship six or seven goals at Old Trafford, and he’s 4/5 to travel to Rio.

Southampton have a number of potential squad members for the summer festivities and could have a less-heralded name to throw into the mix after Nathaniel Clyne (16s) turned in a strong performance on both sides of the ball against Everton.

Phil Jones’ versatility goes a long way to his 4/9 price to make the grade and, despite playing at right back against Norwich, gets the nod at centre-back following a weekend where strong performances from English defenders were few and far between.

That’s highlighted even further by the fact that Jones’ partner here, Craig Dawson, isn’t even priced up to make Hodgson’s 23. Ashley Cole continued his renaissance as Chelsea’s left-back and he’s a 1/4 chance to be named.

Jonjo Shelvey (33s) scored arguably the goal of the season while assisting two more in a Swansea rout of Aston Villa, while Michael Carrick, 1/3, showed unusual adventure in a breath-of-fresh-air performance in United’s midfield.

Carrick’s teammate Wayne Rooney (1/50) bagged himself a brace, and our number 10 shirt, against the Canaries while Danny Welbeck, 1/7, displayed the sort of industry in that partnership that Hodsgon will lap up.

Admittedly 16/1 shot, Saido Berahino, trod on the ball with the chance to add to his goal tally against West Ham but still turned in a performance good enough to make our front three.

Leading the line, though, there’s little option but to pick one-man Sunderland saviour Connor Wickham (12/1) after he scored his fourth and fifth goals in just three games v Cardiff.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.