Hodgson’s Lions have heart to be Kings of Amazon Jungle


Following a poor campaign at Euro 2012, and a frankly dismal performance at the last World Cup in South Africa, England are beginning to show signs of serious improvement under Roy Hodgson. They are 15/2 with Coral to win Group D, despite a small, but by no means disastrous, blip in their first group match.

Although beaten by Italy, they are certainly not out of the World Cup. In the first half, the Azzurri seemed rattled. When was the last time an England player received the ball, scampered past a couple of players at pace, through the middle and rifled a shot with venom? And in the first few seconds as well?

Raheem Sterling is steadily emerging as one of the key sensations in Hodgson’s spell in charge of England. Deployed just behind Liverpool colleague Daniel Sturridge, this is without a shadow of any doubt a potent partnership in the making.

Sturridge himself is starting to prove clinical for country. The striker followed up a sumptuous strike against Peru with an equalising goal against Italy, latching onto a Wayne Rooney centre. He is 11/2 to open the scoring against Uruguay, whose players may as well have been on the Copacabana against Costa Rica.

Where Oscar Tabarez’s side lacked initiative and looked scared in their Group D opener, England played with passion, heart and no fear. Hodgson’s attacking quartet is quite possibly one of the most exciting talking points surrounding the national team, and has led to a suggested scenario where Rooney can be left out.

Taking into account Sterling and Sturridge – the England national team’s version of the SAS, two more positions are theoretically up for grabs. Danny Welbeck, however, seems Hodgson’s preferred choice on one flank. He has started to cement an understanding with Sturridge and the Three Lion’s build-up play is better already as a result.

Adam Lallana is another jewel in England’s crown, who is looking more and more polished by the day. His style of football personifies everything that England haven’t previously had. Style, elegance and versatility.

Throw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is looking more and more likely to be fit for the Uruguay match; Jack Wilshere and Rickie Lambert into the hat, and it is evident the Three Lions have the heart to overcome what is likely to turn out to be a minor setback in Amazon territory.

England are 18/1 to equal Costa Rica’s 3-1 scoreline against Uruguay.

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