England manager Roy Hodgson faces a double header in World Cup qualification that will make or break his position as England gaffer. The next two results will decide whether Roy is heading to Butlins or Brazil next summer, with England facing Montenegro and Poland in Wembley in the next five days.
To try to help the man out, we’ve dug through the stats that the boffins at whoscored.com provide, and pieced together England’s best XI – based on this season’s statistics.
John Ruddy (Norwich)
He has conceded more goals than Joe Hart and Fraser Forster but Ruddy’s shot-stopping gets him in the team. He has faced 31 shots on target in the league this season at Norwich and saved 71 per cent of them compared to Hart (65 per cent) and Forster (61 per cent).
Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)
In five appearances Clyne has put in 22 tackles, and just four players have been able to beat him in a one-on-one situation. Southampton have not conceded a goal when Clyne has been on the field and he has a pass success rate of 80 per cent.
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Just three players in the top flight have made more clearances than Jagielka who has 71 to his name this year. He has also made six tackles and eight interceptions for Everton. He has been beaten just five times this season and has committed just two fouls.
Michael Dawson (Tottenham)
Before the shock 3-0 defeat to West Ham at the weekend, Tottenham had the best defensive record in the league. Dawson has made 10 tackles, nine interceptions, 51 clearances and has caught his man offside 17 times, more than anybody else in the league.
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Just two Englishmen have scored more goals than Leighton Baines this season and they’re strikers. The Everton left-back has found the net twice, and played 11 key passes in the final third. Defensively just two English defenders have made more tackles this season than Baines.
Andros Townsend (Tottenham)
Townsend has made 33 successful dribbles this season, more than any other midfielder in the top flight. Only Olivier Giroud at Arsenal has attempted more shots than Townsend and the winger has an 87 per cent success rate with his passes.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Gerrard has a goal and an assist this season and contributed 15 key passes in seven games – only three players in the league have played more. The Liverpool skipper has made 440 passes this campaign with an 85.5 per cent success rate.
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Nobody in the league has made more passes than Carrick on 583, and he has an impressive success rate of 86.4 per cent to match. He has a 77 per cent success rate with long balls and has made more interceptions (31) than anybody else in the Premier League.
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Lallana’s two assists and one goal for Southampton is the most impressive return this year from any English midfielder. He can play on both flanks and has made 13 key passes for the Saints.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
The league’s top goal scorer, Sturridge has six to his name and chipped in with a couple of assists as well. He has a conversion rate of 27 per cent and is England’s in-form front man.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Rooney has three goals and two assists to his name in just 478 minutes of league football this season. 50 per cent of the striker’s 18 efforts are on target and Wazza has a 17 per cent conversion rate this term.
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