Roy Hodgson will be hoping to stuff the stats down his critics throats when England begin their Euro 2016 qualifying by beating Switzerland at odds of 15/8, but would the tetchy boss have been better off armed with the last squad who travelled to Swiss shores back in 2010?
Paired together during qualification for Euro 2012, Fabio Capello’s team which managed a 3-1 win virtually four years to the day lined up like this:
1. Joe Hart, 2. Glen Johnson, 3. Ashley Cole, 4. Steven Gerrard, 5. Joleon Lescott, 6. Phil Jagielka, 7. Theo Walcott, 8. Gareth Barry, 9. Jermain Defoe, 10. Wayne Rooney, 11. James Milner.
Meanwhile, against Norway the starters were: 1. Joe Hart, 2. John Stones, 3. Leighton Baines, 4. Jordan Henderson, 5. Gary Cahill, 6. Phil Jones, 7. Jack Wilshere, 8. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 9.Daniel Sturridge, 10. Wayne Rooney, 11. Raheem Sterling.
Here’s our News.Ladbrokes verdict:
Hart and Rooney are clearly exempt but starting in front of the Manchester City keeper it’s the full-backs Cole and Johnson who retain their spots.
Cole should have been present in Hodgson’s starting line-up in Brazil and he takes the place of Baines at left-back, while Johnson offers far more going forward than Stones.
Contrastingly, in central defence it’s a win for the here-and-now with Cahill and Jones preferred to former Evertonian stable mates Jagielka and Lescott.
After them it’s the engine room which is of serious concern to Hodgson on this evidence, where Barry and Gerrard get the better of new-era duo Henderson and Wilshere.
Sterling blows Milner out the water on the left, but Walcott also trumps his Arsenal teammate the Ox on previous England performances.
Studger replacing perennial substitute Defoe makes it a narrow 5-4 win to the class of 2010.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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