Daniel Sturridge’s Monday training session with England cannot have been a pleasant endeavour, with maybe a twitch of the calf between one of the Premier League’s most lethal strikers, on the rare occasions he’s not injured, and a place at Euro 2016.
After Marcus Rashford’s quick-fire goal in the 2-1 win over Australia, when Sturridge was consigned to the stands, the 26-year-old had to prove himself all over again prior to Roy Hodgson’s final squad announcement.
His selection is testament to the goal-scoring weapon Sturridge can be, with 21 bagged over 29 games during his only uninterrupted Premier League campaign with Liverpool in 2014/15.
The Reds have benefitted to the tune of 13 in 25 all-competition appearances since Sturridge’s return from injury last October, so repeated setbacks clearly haven’t killed his eye for goal, but he clearly needs game-time after missing England’s last two friendlies and shaking off a calf strain.
Sturridge will surely feature against Portugal at Wembley, and likely start considering Hodgson has already weighed up all his other attacking options, so bwin.com’s 5/1 about the former Chelsea man bagging the opener tempts, but 19/10 on him scoring at any time screams value.
At present, Sturridge looks out of the picture however England play, with Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Wayne Rooney expected to be the preferred forwards in either a 4-3-3 or Diamond formation, while Rashford’s goal and subsequent selection has the press salivating over a New Messiah.
Considering his horrendous injury problems over the past two campaigns, with the striker featuring in just 26 of Liverpool’s 76 Premier League fixtures since World Cup 2014, Sturridge has done well to make the squad, but he has no given right to even come on as a sub, never mind make the XI.
Sturridge needs goals fast, so backing him to bag at 19/10 against Portugal seems prudent.