Roy Hodgson doesn’t currently have a great idea about which strikers he will take to Brazil if England qualify for the World Cup next year. This gives a great platform for all English strikers to force their way into Hodgson’s plans. Wayne Rooney won’t be playing as an out and out striker for Manchester United this season, which means a starting position will open up in the National team with Rooney dropping back to the number ten role. The main contenders to be England’s number nine are Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll. While, Rickie Lambert, Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe are outside contenders. The joker in the pack could be Fraizer Campbell who has started the season well for Cardiff.
Sturridge has started the season in exceptional form for Liverpool as he has scored the winning goal in all of their 1-0 victories making it 3 for the season so far. He also netted twice in their Capital One Cup triumph against Notts County. The former Chelsea striker has a very impressive shooting accuracy of 63% and a chance conversion rate of 38%. Sturridge looks really comfortable leading the Liverpool attack which bodes well for England, he has also shown a wide range of finishes this season. If he keeps up this impressive form, he will be the man who leads England’s front line in Brazil.
Welbeck has also started the season well as he has scored twice, which already doubles his league tally from last year. The Mancheseter United striker does play in a deeper role for his club as he is often put on the wing as Robin van Persie leads the line. This will prove to be a disadvantage when it comes to securing a starting spot for his country. His shooting accuracy is 67% which is better than Sturridge but his chance conversion rate is worse than the Liverpool striker at 33%. There is no doubt that Welbeck will be on the plane to Brazil, but he will need to score more goals if he is to force his way into Hodgson’s starting eleven.
Southampton striker Lambert and Fulham’s loan star Bent both have one goal so far this season. The former has played all 270 minutes so far, and his goal came from the penalty spot. He hasn’t started the season as well as he would have liked, as his chance conversion lingers down at 11%, while his shooting accuracy isn’t much more impressive at 56%. He is unlikely to get the call for the World Cup unless he has a brilliant season, with his lack of pace already being cited as a huge weakness. He is more creative than many of the other English strikers as showed by the four chances he has created already this season. Meanwhile the latter has played 113 minutes, moreover he has had only one shot which led to his goal. He will need to score lots of goals to get a recall.
As mentioned earlier, I really fancy Fraizer Campbell to get a place in the England squad next summer. He has struggled with injuries but when he gets a run of games, he normally scores goals. He received his only England cap to date, when Stuart Pearce took charge of his only match as England manager before Hodgson was appointed, against Holland. He scored twice in Cardiff’s win against Manchester City. His shooting accuracy is a very impressive 80%, furthermore his chance conversion rate is a very decent 40%. However his clear-cut-chance conversion rate is disappointing as it is only 33% as he has already missed two clear-cut-chances so far this season. As the season progresses, I expect him score lots of goals as long as he stays fit. He is guaranteed at Cardiff and he certainly has the ability to trouble Premier League defences.
Carroll and Defoe are yet to get much game time yet this year for different reasons. West Ham target man Carroll has been injured, but he will be back after the International break. He should make it to Brazil as long as he avoids injuries as he offers a different option to the other strikers England have available. His form will decide whether he grabs a starting berth or not. On the other hand, Defoe has been shifted from the Tottenham starting eleven by Roberto Soldado, so he has been restricted to sub appearances so far. He will need to get games if he is to get to Brazil.