Will Sturridge make the Team?
Liverpool centre forward, Daniel Sturridge, is set to be a key player in the English squad set to battle for the Euro 2016 title this summer, though his place in the first team is currently in the balance.
The 26-year old striker has hit form again and currently has eight goals to his name this season in the Premier League, two in the Europa League, where they play Sevilla in the final, and another two in the League Cup that they lost to current fourth-placed Manchester City in the Final.
Coach Roy Hodgson has a very tough task of selecting the best players for each position who will face Russia on June 11 when the tournament Group Stages kicks off.
Hodgson names his 23-man squad for the Euro 2016 Finals in France on Thursday and he's expected to name the former Chelsea and Man City star, Sturridge, the Premier League's newest champions’ striker Jamie Vardy, Spurs’ Harry Kane, and England Skipper Wayne Rooney and Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck as his five strikers, although fitness doubts remain over Welbeck's selection, and Marcus Rashford is enjoying a late surge of form to try to steal one off the few remaining spots.
While 25-goal Kane and 24-goal Vardy are competing highly with the striker for the main striker positions, Sturridge will likely get the nod.
Hodgson already made it clear that Wayne Rooney would remain captain for the tournament even as he mentioned that the player is not assured of a starting spot on the squad. Hodgson is under pressure to impress at the tournament especially as England are amongst the favourites to lift the trophy.
England qualified for Euro 2016 in France this summer after winning 10 games out of 10 in a group involving Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino. They are named among the top contenders this summer with the others being Germany, France the hosts and Spain.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo was amongst the former players and pundits who believe that the Three Lions have a great chance to lift the trophy, with the former Barcelona star pointing out that the English team are in great form and qualified strongly from their group.
The three-time World Footballer of the Year was also very vocal on squad selection and even went as far as to back striker Marcus Rashford for a spot in the first-team. 18 year old Rashford, a sensation for the Red Devils this season, has been praised so much for his efforts this season for Manchester United and even touted by the likes of Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle for place in the Euro squad, for speed and shooting ability if not for experience.
The young player has scored four goals in nine English Premier League games. “He’s a very good player. I see some of myself in him for sure – he has the courage and he’s fast and is very good with the ball,” Ronaldo added. "He is hungry to score and I see that in him - he has an amazing future.”
Ronaldo backed England to do well in the tournament - “I think with the strikers they have, they have a great chance. In the qualifiers, they had 10 matches and 10 victories. I think England are one of the favourites to win. You have the best qualifying performance” the two-time FIFA world cup winner was quoted by SunSport.
“I would love to see England win. In England, people love football so much you deserve to win with the national team.”
England have been named as one of the top four teams to lift the trophy to be hosted in France, alongside the quality Spanish team, the German machines and the hosts, France. England have not won the European Championship before.
Sturridge will be hoping he still has his spot in the squad come Thursday. He has been plagued with injuries throughout his career, and this season in particular, which have hampered his chances in the national squad in previous tournaments, but having moved through the age-grades in English football, starring for the U-18s and U-21s, he is finally likely to be in the starting eleven when the games start next month.