England look ahead to the 2018 World Cup and the squad should include young talent
Gareth Southgate was delighted with England’s 2-0 win over Lithuania, with the Three Lions always in control at Wembley. The manager surprised many by starting with Jermain Defoe and the Sunderland forward broke the deadlock before substitute Jamie Vardy found the net and doubled England’s lead.
Bet365 currently offer 5/2 that Defoe is included in the England squad to compete at the 2018 World Cup, with the striker clearly feeling the love from a new manager after several predecessors have passed him over for inclusion. However, Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney will both look to force their way back in, with the former’s inclusion looking nailed-on.
“I think we’ve got to look every time we get together as to who is in form,” Southgate said when asked if Defoe was a realistic proposition.
“I don’t know if we can have a distinct pecking order because players that are playing well deserve the opportunity.
“If he is scoring goals in the Premier League and playing as well as he has this season, then there’s absolutely no reason why he couldn’t.”
The rest of the squad is looking fairly settled, with the three goalkeepers picking themselves unless Tom Heaton is picked ahead of Fraser Forster.
The full-back position also seems cemented, although Michael Keane’s inclusion alongside John Stones against Lithuania leads us to think that the Burnley central defender might be selected ahead of Chris Smalling.
The midfield will be strengthened by the return of Jordan Henderson, with Ross Barkley likely to get the nod ahead of Nathan Redmond, while we’re expecting Wayne Rooney to eventually get the nod over Jermain Defoe although much will depend on what the former does next season.
ENGLAND EURO 2016 SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Fraser Forster
Left-backs: Danny Rose, Luke Shaw
Right-backs: Nathaniel Clyne, Kyle Walker
Centre-halves: Michael Keane, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Jesse Lingard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney