With all the attention focusing on the ‘Cole v Shaw show’ at left-back, Liverpool’s Glen Johnson is in line to win his 50th England cap and in doing so he can effectively plonk himself on the plane and guarantee a starting berth at right-back in Brazil.
Kyle Walker is likely to remain the biggest threat to Johnson’s position on the right-side of England’s defence, but the unfortunate timing of the Tottenham man’s latest injury is great news for Liverpool’s player.
With his only other potential rival for the berth, Chris Smalling, earmarked to cover the injured Phil Jagielka at centre-back against Denmark, that will free up Johnson to impress Roy Hodgson with a possible full 90-minute showing in his preferred position.
If England can keep a clean sheet, which is rated a 21/10 chance by Ladbrokes, then his case for inclusion in the starting line-up at the World Cup won’t be harmed at all either.
Despite Johnson being in line to win his half-century of caps, the Reds full-back appeared to have slipped behind Walker in Hodgson’s plans, as the Spurs defender has actually started five of the Three Lions’ last seven games in all competitions.
In fairness to Johnson, though, the former Chelsea and Portsmouth player had been unavailable from a few of those squads through injury, but now his own return to fitness looks to have fallen at a fortuitous moment.
Looking at their seasons overall, Johnson’s performances for a rampant Liverpool outfit have probably eclipsed those of Walker’s for Spurs, during a slightly more turbulent campaign at White Hart Lane.
Luckily for the pair it would seem, this World Cup looks to have arrived a little too soon for the likes of Southampton duo Nathaniel Clyne and Calum Chambers or even Johnson’s team-mate Jon Flanagan.
Anyone who fancies a cheeky punt on Johnson to notch against Denmark can get the raiding right-back at 16/1 with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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