Gerrard to stay as skipper

Steven Gerrard is poised to make his 100th appearance for England against Sweden.

England boss Roy Hodgson has asked Steven Gerrard to stay as skipper of the national side for the future as they prepare to face Costa Rica tonight.

The Liverpool talisman’s future with the Three Lions has been cast into doubt after England’s 2-1 defeats to both Italy and Uruguay.

In a press conference ahead of the game with Costa Rica, Gerrard admitted he needs some time to consider his future with the national side but revealed he does still have the back of Hodgson.

He said: “The manager has asked me to stay. I spoke to him and said I’d need at least three weeks to clear my head.

“I will consider it long and hard and speak to the people who will guide me.

“The first person who will know is Roy.”

Costa Rica have been arguably the surprise package of the World Cup so far having already beaten both Uruguay and Italy ahead of their encounter with England at the Estadio Mineirao.

The Three Lions look set to give a few of their squad players starting roles against the Central American outfit, with the likes of Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley to start.

Gerrard will begin the game from the bench with Frank Lampard to be given the captain’s armband for what could be his final international.

Hodgson has a tricky decision to make about his favoured personnel. He’s already confirmed that Gerrard will be left out, with Frank Lampard playing Gerrard’s role as both central midfielder and captain.

Therefore, a possible starting XI seems likely to be along the lines of: Ben Foster; Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere; James Milner, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana; Daniel Sturridge.

Only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, still out injured, and third-choice goalkeeper Fraser Forster will end the tournament without any playing time.


England are 17/20 to beat Costa Rica while the Ticos can be backed at 6/5 with the draw 3/1 Wayne Rooney is 7/4 to score at any time and add to his first-ever World Cup goal he scored against Uruguay.

The only thing that may be worth noting is that England do not look great at defending set pieces, while I was really impressed by Costa Rica’s imagination when winning free kicks in the opposition half. 

Oscar Duarte scored with a cleverly worked header in the opening game, and is worth looking at considering his price of 20/1.

To sum up, I think we should be anti-England here, and tread carefully in the other markets. This Group has already been very good to us from a betting point of view.

Suggested Bets

Lay England against Costa Rica @ 1.95

Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.96

Back Over 13 Corners or more @ 2.84

Can ENGLAND avoid a whitewash??…….

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