An out-foxed, out-thought and out-gunned England side take on Group D toppers Costa Rica as the Three lions are on the verge of finishing their disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil. There have been repercussions back home, citing that Roy Hodgson’s men just travelled to Sambaland just to make up the numbers. Hodgson claimed that there will be a lot of changes in the sides for the dead rubber.
“I’m going to be picking the team for Costa Rica with a view that all the players who are with us get some minutes on the field.
I will be changing the team to give others a chance to show what they can do.
It’s not purely planning for the future and not purely sentiment. It’s to give players a chance to go home from this World Cup too early, bitterly disappointed, but to be able to say they weren’t here to make up the numbers, they actually took part.”
So here is England’s probable line up against Costa Rica.
Fraser Forster is expected to make his first World Cup start for the Three Lions as Joe Hart is set to be relegated to the bench for the dead rubber. The 26 year old is highly rated at Scottish club Celtic and Roy Hodgson’s decision to give the shot stopper a chance in the final game against Costa Rica will definitely boost the other squad players who have been itching to get into the thick of the action. With Hart being 27 and Forster a year younger, both of England’s goalkeepers will be over 30 by the time the 2018 World Cup takes place in Russia. Stoke City’s Jack Butland, who is in his early twenties will, however stake his claim to be under the sticks for the England national team in the next edition of the showpiece event.
As Roy Hodgson said, there will be wholesale changes in the starting eleven as a majority of the senior players are set to be dropped. Liverpool’s Glen Johnson is expected to be replaced by Manchester United’s Phil Jones in the right back slot while Gary Cahill will have the presence of Chris Smalling in the heart of the defense as Phil Jagielka will sit out. Leighton Baines will likely miss the game with a hamstring injury, allowing Southampton youngster Luke Shaw the chance to prove his worth in the biggest of stages. The Southampton youngster has enjoyed a terrific season at the south coast club and might show glimpses of what he is capable of in the international stage.
Steven Gerrard has been the subject of criticism from the media and there have been reports that the Liverpool skipper is contemplating retirement for the International stages. Frank Lampard is expected to lead out his country and the former Chelsea legend will have the ever lively and youthful exuberance of Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere alongside him. While, Lampard occupies a more deeper role in a customary 4-2-3-1 formation, Wilshere will try to barge forward and link up with the attackers. The attacking three will feature Adama Lallana, James Milner and Ross Barkley with the latter donning the no.10 role. Milner with his workhorse mentality will fill in the wide right role on the flanks while Adama Lallana should start as Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling should warm the sidelines.
Wayne Rooney is expected not to feature as Daniel Sturridge should lead the line on his role, occupying a more free role like he does with Liverpool, the Anfield man might be replaced by the new Reds’ signing Ricky Lambert later in the encounter.