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The stats don't lie: England's line up based on form alone

World Cup England XI Fantasy Football - Sky Bet

 

Now you know who should be playing, read on to find out why Sturridge got the nod ahead of Rooney, why Hart retains his spot in goal, and why eight players should count themselves unlucky for not winning their first caps.

Click here for 2014 World Cup betting odds


Goalkeeper

  • Joe Hart - despite receiving some mixed reports in the press of late, statistically Joe Hart is still the best English keeper around ahead of John Ruddy, so holds onto our number one jersey.

Defenders

  • Leighton Baines - few could argue that the Everton left-back doesn't deserve a place in Roy Hodgson's starting 11 - he would've staked a claim for the starting line up on merit alone, even before Ashley Cole's withdrawal through injury.
  • Luke Shaw - based on current form, Southampton's young starlet Luke Shaw deserves to make his debut at full-back. Shaw has played a key role in one of the tightest defences in the whole of Europe so far this season.
  • John Terry - the former England captain has made a fine start to the campaign after being reunited with Jose Mourinho, helping his Chelsea side's cause with three clean sheets and a goal in his first seven appearances.
  • Curtis Davies - after a few attempts, Curtis Davies finally looks to be establishing himself as a quality top-flight defender. Like Terry, Davies has helped chipped in with a goal and three clean sheets so far.

Midfielders

  • Steven Gerrard - Liverpool have made a fantastic start to the season under Brendan Rodgers, and the form of Steven Gerrard has played a big part in this. Hodgson will hope that Gerrard can replicate his club form once again for England in the upcoming fixtures.
  • Frank Lampard - the media has always questioned whether Lampard and Gerrard could play in the same side for England, but the stats don't lie - based on current form, both members of the Golden Generation deserve starting berths.
  • Ross Barkley - the young Evertonian has been a revelation this season under new boss Roberto Martinez, thriving under the club's new counter-attacking style. Hodgson has clearly noticed the young man's stellar form, selecting him in a full England squad for the first time.
  • Adam Lallana - he may not be grabbing quite the same headlines as Barkley, but Adam Lallana is statistically the most in-form English midfielder in the Premier League this season. This news will come as no surprise to Saints fans, who have every right to be proud of a player who has been at the club since the age of 12.
  • Jonjo Shelvey - eyebrows were raised when Jonjo Shelvey swapped Liverpool for Swansea this summer. However, bar a slightly comedic display against his former club, Shelvey has slotted into Michael Laudrup's side very well indeed.

Striker

  • Daniel Sturridge - in the Sky Sports Fantasy Football league, Daniel Sturridge has almost twice as many points as his nearest English rival, Wayne Rooney. His six goals, two assists and four man-of-the-match performances also make him easily the highest scoring player in the league so far. As a reward for his fine form, we start Sturridge as a lone frontman.

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Substitutes

  • John Ruddy - many may've expected the Norwich keeper to stake a bigger claim for the number one shirt. However, after conceding one more goal and keeping one less clean sheet than rival Joe Hart, there was only one man for the spot between the sticks.
  • Kyle Walker - before Sunday's home drubbing by West Ham, Tottenham had the best defensive record in the league. Kyle Walker makes the bench for the four clean sheets he has helped Spurs keep so far.
  • Nathaniel Clyne - Nathaniel Clyne has also starred in the Southampton backline this season, and on current form would pip Tottenham's Michael Dawson to a place on our bench.
  • Peter Whittingham - after being one of the star players in the Sky Bet Championship for many years now, some questions were asked of whether Cardiff's Peter Whittingham could make the step up to the top flight. Early signs are very good for the winger, as his goal and two assists should earn him a place on the England bench.
  • Mark Noble - West Ham's longest-serving player just pips teammate Kevin Nolan to a place in the in-form England squad by one point. Noble is yet to win his first cap for the national side, despite captaining the under-21s on numerous occasions in the past.
  • Wayne Rooney - although the signs are that the Manchester United striker has been getting closer to his best form in recent weeks, a slow start to the season means Rooney has been relegated to the bench in favour of the red-hot Sturridge.
  • Rickie Lambert - making up a fabulous foursome of England squad members for the Saints, Rickie Lambert has been great form again this season. Two goals in his first three England appearances will also do the striker's chances of breaking into the England first team no harm at all either.

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