Sturridge leads swashbuckling Liverpool lads looking to World Cup
Leading English marksman Daniel Sturridge has scored nine goals in seven Premier League games since returning from an ankle injury. He and fellow countrymen Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling are playing their way into spots on Roy Hodgson’s World Cup roster alongside Reds and Three Lions skipper Steven Gerrard.
Sturridge, 24, is now heavily odds-on at 1/8 to go to Brazil, 1/3 to start England’s first match against Italy at the finals and a 7/2 shot to be his country’s tournament top-scorer. Odds of 66/1 say he will win the World Cup Golden Boot.
His recent purple patch sees Sturridge now only five league goals (18 in 19) behind club teammate Luis Suarez (23 in 22) in the race to be the Premier League’s leading scorer. Odds of 11/2 on him overtaking the Uruguayan and finishing the campaign as top-flight Golden Boot winner are well worth an investment.
Midfielder Henderson, 23, joined Sturridge in bagging a brace in Liverpool’s thrilling 4-3 win over Swansea City last time out. His runs are producing goals and getting him noticed, so Coral offer a price of 5/4 on the former Sunderland man making the World Cup squad.
Teenage winger Sterling, meanwhile, notched up another assist against the Swans and is now 6/4 to be on England’s roster, covering the absence of the injured Theo Walcott. Hodgson has already said how impressed he’s been with him this term.
Add Gerrard and fellow Scouser Wayne Rooney, who celebrated signing a new deal at Manchester United reportedly worth £300k-per-week by scoring at Crystal Palace, and there’s a potentially strong Merseyside flavour for the Three Lions’ front six.
Hodgson recently touted Rooney, 28, as a future England national captain because elder statesmen in his squad may step aside after the World Cup. “When the day comes for Gerrard to hang up his boots, Wayne will be straight in there,” he said.
Southampton and their young, homegrown talents suffered another setback by losing to West Ham, after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Sunderland. Saints skipper Adam Lallana remains odds-on at 10/11 for a spot in the England squad.
Luke Shaw, who apologised to fans that travelled up to Wearside, is 4/1 for a World Cup place, but way behind regular left backs Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines in the betting. Target man Rickie Lambert, meanwhile, is 9/4 ahead of suspended Hammers counterpart Andy Carroll at 4/1.
Finally, spare a thought for defender Steven Caulker, who left Tottenham for Cardiff in search of regular football last summer. Hoping to enhance his chances at international level, that move proved disastrous.
Caulker is 8/1 for inclusion, but the Bluebirds lost 4-0 at home to Hull – with 14/1 outsider Tom Huddlestone among those on target (doing his own hopes no harm) – and only basement club Fulham have conceded more goals. One to avoid calling up then, Roy.