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An England Euro 2016 Squad Based On Statistics

With England manager Roy Hodgson due to name his England squad for the European Championships later this week, the debate as to who should be included has begun in earnest.

Whether or no the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott or even captain Wayne Rooney should or should no be included is a massive talking point, and it remains to be seen if Roy Hodgson keeps faith in the youthful exuberance of the side that humbled world champions Germany on their own soil recently, or if he reverts to conservative type.

The list almost certainly be based on a combination of form and reputation, but using statistics website whoscored.com, here is how the squad would look were it to be based purely on statistics for the 2015/16 season:

 

Goalkeepers:

[table id=50 /]

With Jack Butland injured, the role of Joe Hart’s understudy is there to be taken. Fraser Forster is expected to be selected as number two goalkeeper, which leaves one final spot. In terms of experience, West Brom’s Ben Foster has eight England caps to Tom Heaton’s zero – but the statistics for this season would back the inclusion of the Burnley keeper.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Tom Heaton of Burnley look on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Brentford at Turf Moor on August 22, 2015 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

 

Defenders:

[table id=51 /]

This would certainly be a gamble from Hodgson. While a first choice backline of Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka and Danny Rose would not be controversial (in fact it may be close to the actual lineup, only with Gary Cahill in Jagielka’s place), the backup four in this panel is made up of four uncapped defenders from two sides in the bottom seven in the Premier League table.

How three Bournemouth defenders have managed to play well individually whilst conceding 64 goals is a mystery, but given the fact that that Hodgson has confirmed Cahill will play an important role in the squad, the England boss will go for experience on this occasion.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: (L to R) Adam Smith, Steve Cook and Simon Francis of Bournemouth celebrate their team's 2-1 win in the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Manchester United at Vitality Stadium on December 12, 2015 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

 

Midfielders:

[table id=52 /]

The midfield has a bit more of an experienced look about it, with five of the seven players listed having ten or more caps. Of the two who don’t, Tottenham’s Dele Alli is poised to announce himself on the world stage should he have a strong tournament.

There is a strong Liverpool presence with three members of Jürgen Klopp’s squad listed, with at least two of those three virtually guaranteed their place on the plane to France. Andros Townsend, meanwhile, could be something of a wildcard – Hodsgon definitely rates him, and his strong form since signing for Newcastle in January may yet see the former Tottenham man sneak into the squad.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20:  James Milner (L) of Liverpool talks to Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (R) during the international friendly match between Adelaide United and Liverpool FC at Adelaide Oval on July 20, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

 

Forwards:

[table id=53 /]

This is where Hodgson’s biggest headache will arise. He has repeatedly stated that Wayne Rooney will go, so it is likely that the Manchester United and England captain will simply slot in where Andy Carroll is named above, but even then his form suggests that he should not be starting.

Vardy and Kane have both done enough to earn a starting spot in England’s lineup, while Sturridge and Welbeck have both returned strongly from injury, so it will be intriguing to see how the manager plays this one.

In any case, all of Troy Deeney, Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Marcus Rashford are set to miss out.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Jamie Vardy of Leicester City poses for photographs wit the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Of course, it would be far too simplistic to suggest that the squad should be picked on statistics alone, but the form guide does indicate that Hodgson will have one or two serious selection problems to navigate through before he names his squad on Thursday.

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