Three Lions head coach Roy Hodgson has the chance of trying out new faces on the field since San Marino has enjoyed very little success in international football, and is the smallest of any UEFA country.
Baines Pushing Cole For Left Back
According to Castrol EDGE analysis, Leighton Baines’ fantastic start to the season for his club side Everton could see him force his way into the England left-back slot for the upcoming international against San Marino.
With Ashley Cole’s England future under threat following his social media gaffe as the end of last week, Roy Hodgson could decide to hand Baines his 12th cap for the Three Lions.
Premier League 2012/13 – Baines Vs Cole
|Premier League 12/13|
|Cross Completion %|
|Tackles Won %|
Baines certainly deserves a chance to start for England against the international minnows on Friday, having been in fine form for Everton in the Premier League so far this term. He’s won possession with every tackle, and got forward at will, assisting two goals and scoring one himself.
Amazingly for a defender, Baines is actually the most creative player in the Premier League so far this season, having created 30 goalscoring chances for the Toffees.
Premier League 2012/13 – Chances Created
Premier League 2012/13|
Chances Created (inc. assists)
Lescott-Jagielka Partnership Rekindled By Terry Retirement?
With John Terry announcing his retirement from international football and Rio Ferdinand seemingly in the international wilderness while Roy Hodgson is manager, England are looking for a new central defensive partnership. Castrol EDGE performance data shows that Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka are the best players to fill this void.
Not only have Jagielka and Lescott prior experience of playing in tandem in central defence; having lined out together 66 times in the Premier League for Everton, both have been strong in the tackle since the start of last season, winning over 70% of their challenges.
England Defenders – Premier League Data since August 1st 2011
|Minutes On Pitch|
|Tackles and Blocks|
|Tackles Won %|
|Ground Duel Success %|
|Aerial Duel Success %|
|Pass Completion %|
Jagielka has been the strongest of the four players with regards to both ground and aerial challenges, whilst also intercepting the ball from the opponent on more occasions than any of the other three.
One aspect that Lescott and Jagielka will have to improve on, however, is their distribution out of defence. Both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand have managed to complete over 90% of their passes since the start of last season in the Premier League, superior success rates to those posted by Lescott (88%) and Jagielka (75%).
The statistics used in this article were provided by Castrol EDGE Football.