Betting: Who will start for England against Italy at the World Cup?

Roy Hodgson has named his squad for this summer’s tournament in Brazil and bet365 are offering prices on who will start England’s first game

There is a distinctly youthful look about Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the World Cup and now the season is over punters can get to grips with where the value lies.

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is priced at 8/11 (1.73) to start in midfield alongside his club mate and England captain Steven Gerrard.

The two players formed a very effective partnership that propelled Brendan Rodgers’ men into title contention and although they fell short in the final weeks, there seems plenty of benefit in starting the two players who already have an existing relationship and complement each other’s play.
Bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth said: “A year ago people would have questioned you offering odds-on about Jordan Henderson starting at the World Cup, but the midfield man has excelled alongside the England skipper.”

In terms of competition for the second central midfield spot against Italy, Jack Wilshere is available at 11/10 (2.10), although his ongoing fitness problems could mean that price is best avoided with a month to go before the tournament gets underway. Frank Lampard’s inclusion in the squad will surprise few but at 9/2 (5.50) it appears the bookmakers don’t expect the Chelsea man to play a key role against Italy.

Ross Barkley is another youthful inclusion in the Three Lions squad for the tournament and although he has been extremely impressive in the blue of Everton over the last 10 months, the 20-year-old is priced at 5/1 (6.0) to line up against the Italians.

Manchester City’s James Milner could also be an option in a number of positions and he could prove a touch of value at 5/4 (2.25) considering his versatility. The 28-year-old could form part of a central midfield set up or be deployed in a more defensively-minded wide role, depending on Roy Hodgson’s tactial approach against the Azzurri.

Raheem Sterling is priced at Even money (2.0) by bet365 and after his impressive season at Anfield he could well be deployed wide against Italy. Questions could be raised about the fact that Sterling has only represented his country a handful of times at senior level thus far, but his performances for Liverpool – especially in the second half of the season – mean he makes a convincing case for a starting place.

Adam Lallana, who is being heavily linked to a move to Merseyside, is available at 5/4 (2.25) to be named in the starting 11 for the England’s opening group game. Another wide option for Hogdson is Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (2/1), who was a surprise starter for the national side against France in England’s opening game at Euro 2012.

While Henderson may appear a good option at 8/11 (1.73), with the uncertainty surrounding how Roy Hodgson will approach the opening encounter, a small wager on the versatile James Milner being included is prefered at a bigger prirce of 5/4 (2.25).

Hodgson called upon the Manchester City man in England’s opening group game at Euro 2012 against France and with England’s seemingly most difficult fixture of the group stage being played first again backing Milner to be involved is the recommended bet.

These prices can be found on bet365’s Italy v England match prices by clicking on the “Player” category.

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