New England manager Sam Allardyce has decided to grant Michail Antonio his first invitation to play for the Three Lions.
The uncapped player has started this campaign well, scoring his second of the term in the game against Manchester City. The qualifiers poised for the international break would be a good opportunity for him to earn his first cap for England.
Red Devils player Luke Shaw will be in action when England meet Slovakia on September 4 in the World Cup qualifier. This makes for another surprise from Allardyce since Shaw was yet to play for the three Lions since breaking his leg in the last campaign. Man City’s Joe Hart has been invited to stay in goal despite his problems at the Etihad.
After missing out of the Euro 2016, Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater have been recalled to the team. The surprises include Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley. Both players have been ignored, but Everton’s Phil Jagielka received a call to serve.
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England manager Roy Hodgson thinks that the African teams have a chance of winning the World Cup 2014 largely because of the climate. Africa has not had a World Cup winner in its history, but the African teams have steadily been growing in stature. Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon come into the World Cup has teams that can win the competition. Even though European teams and Brazil still remain the favourite to win the competition, Hodgson thinks that the African teams cannot not be ruled out.
England are definitely not one of the favourites to win this competition. They have been provisionally booked in Rio de Janeiro. Due to the vast size of the continent, it is expected that location will be an important factor towards doing well. The south of Brazil is cold during June, while the north of Brazil is hot and is more like a tropical climate. If African teams get a group that makes them stay in the north of Brazil, then they could get a huge advantage according to Hodgson.
“I think (African nations) may have a stronger chance than any of the European teams to be perfectly honest because of the climate. There are many African players out there of excellent quality now. They play in the top European leagues and that makes the African nations very strong. Nigeria have traditionally been one of the strongest, with some famous names in their team. Whoever is at the game on Monday night will see two very good teams and it will be an exciting outcome,” said Hodgson after his team qualified automatically.
This is because the climate in North of Brazil is very similar to the climate of most African countries. Nigeria come into the tournament after having only recently lifted African cup of nations title.