England Defenders Specials: To Start for England at the World Cup Odds

England

Defenders to Start for England at the World Cup Odds: Walker

Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker has been a regular in the England squad since his debut in 2011 against Spain. Walker's searing pace has helped him to be recognised as one of the best premier league full-backs over the last decade and his transition into a back three with City and England has propelled him even further into England's much-needed defensive stability.

The 31-year-old has also been a consistent performer at the international level and is now carrying the responsibility as one of the elder players in a young squad. Walker is one of a few players in the national team who has experience lifting silverware, which will be vital for Gareth Southgate as he looks to win the World Cup in 2022, but more so, it's his versatility that gets him in the England squad.

As well as playing full-back, he is also capable of slotting into a back three on the right-hand side, making him adaptable for England’s system and Walker is 3/1 to start at the World Cup.

Defenders to Start for England at the World Cup Odds: Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold is recognised by most as the best right-back in world football. The Liverpool full-back has already won both the Premier League and UEFA Champions League at the age of 22, where he played key roles in both campaigns.

Alexander-Arnold’s delivery makes him one of the most dangerous players on the pitch, as he can pick out his teammates consistently from a wide position. However, he has been criticised for his defensive responsibilities, as he is prone to get caught out of position. Due to injury, he was one of the casualties that missed out of the England Euro 2020 squad and he is already back in the setup.

Gareth Southgate has left out Alexander-Arnold in the past and has been tentative in the selection of Alexander-Arnold, so his absence from the squad didn’t appear to be a hie blow to the team. England have operated with a back five in recent times and with the competition of Walker and Kieran Trippier, Alexander-Arnold will need to persuade Southgate to make the starting lineup.

The Liverpool man is 3/1 to start at the World Cup

Defenders to Start for England at the World Cup Odds: Stones

John Stones has been partnered with Harry Maguire at the last two major international tournaments, and the pair have formed a solid relationship at the heart of the defence. Stones has been criticised during his time at Manchester City as he didn’t quite show the consistency expected of him after his £50m transfer from Everton. However, after playing beside Ruber Dias last season, Stones appears to be more confident and dominant in his defensive play despite Aymeric Laporte once again pushing him out the side.

With the ball at his feet, he excels in finding passes and bringing the ball out from the back. Stones is now entering his prime alongside Shaw and Maguire in the England defence and will look to show the world that he is up there with the very best in his position. Southgate tends to remain loyal to players who have served him well in the past, and Stones is one of the players he has been able to get the best out of.

This makes him a likely selection in the starting lineup, however, the likes of Joe Gomez and other younger centre-halves may give Southgate a headache going into Qatar. Stones is 2/1 to start at the World Cup

Defenders to Start for England at the World Cup Odds: Shaw

Luke Shaw’s career at Manchester United has been full of ups and downs. After a bright start at the club, he suffered a crucial injury in his debut season after he broke his leg in the Champions League. After the injury, Shaw was in and out of the team, struggling to cement a place in the starting XI for three seasons.

However, in recent times, Shaw has seemingly found the form that saw him included in the Premier League team of the season as a teenager and after two fabulous seasons, the England international is perhaps the very best around.

The 26-year-old is now starting to recognise the potential that saw him become the most expensive teenager in English football. His return to form has coincided with a return to the national team setup. Shaw was one of England’s top performers in the last tournament, scoring in the final against Italy. Shaw’s resurgence over the last few seasons will encourage Southgate to continue to select him as his first-choice left-back.

Shaw is 1/2 to start at the World Cup.

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