England’s hopes of World Cup glory still feel pretty paper thin after a largely humdrum 1-0 win over Denmark at Wembley, but there were definite winners and losers among the fringe players hoping to book a ticket to Brazil.
The gong for best-supporting player in an international friendly would surely go to Southampton’s Adam Lallana.
A player whose reputation has grown and grown for his club this season entered the fray after an hour and added a creative spark sorely lacking in the Three Lions’ ranks up until that point.
After cutting in from the left via a silky turn, Lallana capped a fine cameo by lofting a cross to the back post for Daniel Sturridge to nod the winner and at 1/2 to make the final 23-man squad, it feels like printable money.
As we had predicted, 18-year-old Luke Shaw was introduced at half-time and just as the gifted left-back has been doing all season for Saints, performed with assuredness beyond his years.
If comparing Shaw’s 45-minute display to that of Ashley Cole’s, taking Ladbrokes up on the 2/1 about the youngster making the World Cup cut over the 1/6 on the Chelsea man is far more value.
ITV’s man-of-the-match and fellow teenager, Raheem Sterling, also brought his fine Liverpool form to the international scene, adding attraction to the 8/13 on him making the grade.
Reds revelation Jordan Henderson, an 8/11-shot, did his chances no harm either with an energetic 77-minute performance alongside his club-mate Steven Gerrard in a three-man midfield.
Things look decidedly less rosey for 2/5-rated Ross Barkley, while 7/2 on Jay Rodriguez would be the gamble the odds suggest after Roy Hodgson left him on the bench.
Worrying times also lie ahead for Manchester United pairing Tom Cleverley (6/5) and Michael Carrick (1/3) who didn’t feature and Frank Lampard’s place in the pecking order appears to have dropped further, with the veteran Chelsea midfielder lengthening to 1/3.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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