World Cup 2010 - Cole set to fill Beckham's boots

Tue, 16 Mar 13:30:00 2010

Our England squad selector continues to work its magic, with Joe Cole tipped for an England recall.

2010 Chelsea Joe Cole - 0

ENGLAND SQUAD SELECTOR

Which 23 players will England boss Fabio Capello take to the World Cup? We tell you who, on present form, should be on the plane to South Africa.

How it works

We use our Team of the Week formula, which averages marks out of 10 from the national newspapers, to give players a rating for each game they start.

To determine their form, we take the average rating from their last five Premier League starts. Players are listed in their most likely position for England, NOT for their clubs.

We have selected two players from each outfield position in a 4-4-2 position, plus three goalkeepers. Players not in bold are those still in contention, but out of the squad on present form.

The untouchables

Despite Fabio Capello's claims that form is everything going into the World Cup, a number of players are all but guaranteed selection, regardless of their performances between now and May.

The nine untouchables who are shown asterisked on the squad selector below are: Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe.

England squad selector

Don't know if you've heard, but David Beckham has suffered an injury of some sort. With Goldenballs now earmarked for a cheerleader role, who will take his place on the plane?

The versatility of most of the contenders means left- and right-sided midfield players have now been lumped together in one super-category - wide midfielders.

And the four who lead the way are Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Ashley Young and Joe Cole. Young seems to be behind Shaun Wright-Phillips and Theo Walcott in the pecking order despite sterling performances for Aston Villa - might Capello be forced into a rethink?

And Joe Cole's five-game average of 6.53 suggests rumours of his demise are premature.

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KEY: *Asterisk = Untouchable; Bold = In the squad; Not bold = Not in the squad

GOALKEEPERS

Joe Hart 6.60

Paul Robinson 6.53

Chris Kirkland 6.40

Robert Green 6.33

David James 6.07

RIGHT-BACKS

*Glen Johnson 5.67

Gary Neville 5.87

Wes Brown 5.86

Micah Richards 5.72

CENTRE-BACKS

*John Terry 6.27

*Rio Ferdinand 6.25

Michael Dawson 6.80

Ledley King 6.60

Joleon Lescott 6.33

Gary Cahill 6.26

Matthew Upson 6.25

Ryan Shawcross 6.19

LEFT-BACKS

Leighton Baines 6.93

*Ashley Cole 6.80

Stephen Warnock 6.27

Paul Konchesky 6.25

Wayne Bridge 5.92

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

*Frank Lampard 6.73

*Gareth Barry 6.26

*Steven Gerrard 6.13

Tom Huddlestone 6.47

Michael Carrick 6.46

Jermaine Jenas 5.85

WIDE MIDFIELDERS

Aaron Lennon 7.09

James Milner 6.80

Ashley Young 6.53

Joe Cole 6.53

Stewart Downing 6.33

Shaun Wright-Phillips 6.00

Theo Walcott 5.63

FORWARDS

*Wayne Rooney 7.65

*Jermain Defoe 6.26

Gabriel Agbonlahor 6.66

Bobby Zamora 6.59

Carlton Cole 6.65

Peter Crouch 6.27

Darren Bent 6.07

Emile Heskey 5.87

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