If his place wasn’t assured before, the news yesterday that Andros Townsend is to miss the world cup finals seems to have ended any small lingering doubts about Raheem Stirling making Roy Hodgson’s final 23 for Brazil.
Sterling was surely destined to go, given current form, but Hodgson may have felt a debt of gratitude to the key role Townsend played in getting England over the line in the matches against Montenegro and Poland at the start of this season (back in October).
Sterling is as short as 1/16 with some firms to be in Brazil this summer, he is currently a best price of 1/6 with SkyBet (£30.00 Free Bet) to make the World Cup squad, which is effectively a bet on whether or not he is fit to make the trip.
Other outsiders who might be in with a sniff now that Townsend is out, are Adam Johnson, Ashley Young and Aaron Lennon.
Johnson has had the better season in my view, and he is a best price of 12/1 with BetVictor (£25.00 Free Bet).
Aaron Lennon has world cup experience, and may well (rightly) be considered the most like for like replacement for Townsend or Theo Walcott, he is available at 7/1 with Bet365 to make the cut.
While Ashley Young, who has had a poor season at Old Trafford is 14/1, also with BetVictor.