With England players dropping like Monty Panesar catches from the England squad to play Chile and Germany, the squad’s fringe players now have the perfect opportunity to stake their World Cup claims, by helping the 17/20 priced Three Lions get the international break off to a winning start.
Jordan Henderson is completing more passes this season than in his previous three Premier League campaigns.
One player who is unquestionably benefitting from Brendan Rodgers’ keep-ball obsession at Liverpool is the ex-Sunderland man.
With many critics quick to label England as inferior passers of the football, Henderson’s pass success rate of 86.5%, which is higher than any of his previous three top-flight campaigns, is a useful commodity to have in reserve.
Only Steven Gerrard has contributed to more league goals in the England squad than Adam Lallana.
Although Andros Townsend’s heroics in the final two qualifiers give him the upper hand in the race to fill the right wing position in Brazil, his love of cutting in and shooting is becoming increasingly predictable.
Conversely, Lallana is a hub of creativity for Southampton. Playing off either wing, but making the majority of his starts from the right, the Saints skipper has scored three and assisted two goals in the league, figures only bettered by Gerrard in the current squad.
Jay Rodriguez’s versatility has seen him start Southampton games in three different positions.
Danny Welbeck’s withdrawal has opened up an audition space on the left hand side of the attacking trio, a position Rodriguez has played four times for Mauricio Pochettino this season.
With only 23 spots on the plane to Brazil available, and managers famously fond of taking adaptable players who play multiple positions to international tournaments, the fact that the exotically named Lancastrian has also started across the entire line behind the main striker seriously aids his cause.