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World Cup Top Trumps: Henderson beats Wilshere to partner Gerro

| 10.06.2014

At the foot of Rio’s Sugarloaf mountain in sweltering conditions England’s players are being put through their paces and for midfield duo Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson the heat is very much on.

In the build-up to England’s Group D opener against Italy in Manuas – where the Three Lions are 21/10-shots to start with three points – the pair are thought to be in direct competition for a starting slot alongside skipper Steven Gerrard in the engine room.

Roy Hodgson has a tough call on his hands, but here at News.Ladbrokes we’ve had a bit of fun with our own selection policy, do you agree? Tweet @ChristianCrowth or leave your comments below.

To play alongside Gerrard Top Trumps:

Jack

Ball retention: Jack 7/10 – Jordan 8/10

Both players have the requisite skills to keep hold of the ball in tight situations and if anything Wilshere has more ability to spin away from trouble. However, Henderson takes less risks and the fact he is happier to pass sideways or backwards in searing heat sees him edge this category.

Dribbling: Jack 8/10 – Jordan 6/10

There is no question here that the Arsenal man comes out on top. When he’s playing at his best Wilshere can glide past opponents as if they’re not there. Meanwhile, Henderson has improved in this area but will never be a natural dribbler.

Incisive passing: Jack 7/10 – Jordan 8/10

Before this season had begun, Henderson would have been lagging someway behind his Gunner counterpart. But under Brendan Rodgers’ stewardship the former Sunderland man has come to life in the final third as part of a rampant Liverpool outfit, registering seven assists compared to Wilshere’s four in the Premier League, according to WhoScored.com.

Jordan

Energy: Jack 7/10 – Jordan 9/10

If he can stay fit Wilshere certainly has a decent engine on him and is more than a willing runner for his club, though he is prone to tire later on in games. Henderson however, is arguably the most boundless midfield runner in the camp and his availability to get on the ball will be key in stifling temperatures.

Synergy with Gerrard: Jack 7/10 – Jordan 9/10

It’s a bit unfair on Jack the Lad here. But there’s no escaping the fact that an understanding built up with a club teammate is very valuable when converted onto the international stage. This is bound to come into Hodgson’s thinking.

Defensive responsibility: Jack 7/10 – Jordan 8/10

Again, neither can be accused of shying away from their defensive duties but Wilshere’s adventurous side can sometimes get the better of him. The Liverpool man is slightly more trustworthy in this department, as backed up by his 2.4 tackles-per-game average compared to Wilshere’s 1.3 in the league.

Total: Jack 44/60 – Jordan 48/60

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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.