World Cup: Sky Sports users pick Raheem Sterling for England v Italy but no place for Welbeck and Barkley
Last Updated: 13/06/14 12:13pm
Sky Sports users have chosen Raheem Sterling to start for England against Italy in their World Cup opener - but there is no place in the team for Danny Wellbeck or Ross Barkley.
Based on votes cast via the Sky Sports England Selector, the Liverpool winger is a must for Roy Hodgson as he prepares to choose his side for Saturday's clash in Manaus.
Sterling was sent off in England's warm-up clash with Ecuador and subsequently suspended for the final friendly with Honduras but his displays in a Liverpool shirt appear to have made him a favourite with skysports.com readers who have voted in their thousands to include him in Hodgson's starting XI.
He is also a must-have for Soccer Saturday's Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Phil Thompson who all used the England Selector to choose Sterling.
His selection leaves Barkley on the bench in spite of the clamour to include him from some, notably Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, who wants Hodgson to start the Everton youngster.
"Now is a great chance for Roy Hodgson to give English football the identity we've lacked," Scholes said.
"Tell the world: this is how we play, attack! There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Ross Barkley to Brazil 'for the experience'. Play them."
While Barkley may miss out, Southampton's Adam Lallana gets your nod in midfield along with Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Sterling.
Wayne Rooney is chosen to partner Daniel Sturridge in attack which means there is no place for Danny Wellbeck who made only of the 70,000 teams chosen so far.
Based on votes cast so far, the team the majority of our users would go with is:
Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge, Rooney
The selection matches that of Soccer Saturday's Phil Thompson, who also explains the formation he hopes to see England employ against Italy
"Because of how well Liverpool have played I would go for a diamond formation. You might see Steven Gerrard in the middle, Adam Lallana on the left, Jordan Henderson on the right and Raheem Sterling at the point of the diamond with Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge up front. You could go for a 4-2-3-1 with the same players – that gives him the option. You could go with Gerrard and Henderson as a two, then Sterling, Rooney and Lallana behind the striker. He’ll probably go that way so you get some protection and some legs playing with Stevie. The only one I feel should be in the squad that isn’t there is Michael Carrick alongside Gerrard – that would be at the omission of Frank Lampard. I’d put Carrick in there to keep the ball and he’d probably start before Henderson."
Paul Merson goes for a more conservative selection and opts for James Milner in midfield - but can't decide between Sterling and Lallana.
"We all know who the four at the back will be - Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Glen Johnson - then Steven Gerrard in front, definitely. Then I’d play James Milner and Jordan Henderson as the legs in midfield. Then I’d go Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling or Rooney and Adam Lallana with Daniel Sturridge up front. Rooney is a free spirit, so let him do what he wants. Him and Lallana or Sterling can do whatever they want, go wherever they want. We’ve got enough players looking after the back. Then I’d say Sturridge has to run himself into the ground with Danny Welbeck (said before injury scare) to come on later. We need legs because we won’t pass everyone off the pitch. Milner and Henderson are probably the fittest two players in the World Cup, let alone the Premier League. With their legs you rely on them getting back and forwards. I’d definitely man-to-man mark Andrea Pirlo in the first game, though, because if he gets on the ball we’re in trouble."
No such issues for Matt Le Tissier who goes for the same starting XI as Merson.
"England have the players there to be able to flip formations within a game without having to swap personnel so there’s plenty of options. Hopefully Adam Lallana or Ross Barkley will be the stars of the tournament because maybe people don’t know too much about them outside our country. I also like the way that Raheem Sterling finished the season, he was outstanding in the second half of the season. I think he can find the level of performance for England that he did for Liverpool and really make a name for himself as the young player of the World Cup."