Shaw's chance to stake his claim

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw

First published in Football Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Writer

Luke Shaw will tomorrow get the chance to stake a claim for a World Cup place as he comes head-to-head with England rival Leighton Baines.

The teenage left back is hoping to do enough in the remaining three games of the season to convince England boss Roy Hodgson that he is worthy of inclusion for the trip to Brazil this summer.

Baines is currently seen as England’s first choice left back, but Hodgson has not ruled out either Shaw or Chelsea’s Ashley Cole winning the shirt in time for the World Cup opener.

Cole made a rare start for Chelsea in their goalless Champions League semi-final first leg tie in midweek, putting in a good display at a timely moment to remind Hodgson of his class and experience.

It has heaped the pressure back on to Baines and Shaw ahead of a meeting between their two clubs, Saints and Everton, at St Mary’s tomorrow lunchtime.

With time running out to convince Hodgson, the three left backs are almost certainly playing for just two places in the final 23-man squad which will be named two days after the end of the season.

Shaw put in a stirring display at Aston Villa last weekend but his rivals are also playing well.

If he can outshine Baines tomorrow it will be a major boost to his chances.

Shaw certainly has youth on his side as, at 18, he is nine years younger than Baines.

The Saints starlet has 15 years on Cole, though the Chelsea veteran can boast 107 England caps.

However, Baines does have one major plus as he can deliver goals from set pieces.

He has scored five times in the Premier League this season with three coming direct from penalties and the other two from free kicks.

Shaw has yet to score a senior goal for Saints, but is not on set piece duty.

Baines also has three assists to his name in the league this term, while Shaw has just the one.

Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert will also be looking for a stirring finish to the season to cement their places.

Lallana looks set to make the squad but Lambert’s place remains slightly in doubt.

His main threat appears to be from Andy Carroll.

Though Sam Allardyce last week admitted the West Ham striker is not 100 per cent match sharp yet, Hammers midfielder Stewart Downing believes his teammate should go anyway.

He said: “He (Carroll) knows that Roy Hodgson is a big fan of his and if he stays fit, even if he didn't score between now and the end of the season, he is a big threat for England and I think he (Hodgson) will probably take him.

“That is my own opinion. He needs to keep playing well and take his good form into the World Cup.”

He added: “He is a different option. People look at Rooney and Sturridge and they may well be starters.

“They are totally different players to Andy in that system. He is an option. If you need him off the bench or to start, he is difficult to mark. He is a big lad, a handful and people can play off him.

“If you put it in that area, he gets on the end of it. He is a target to hit. He is in with a hell of a chance of going.”

Comments (3)

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8:09am Fri 25 Apr 14

AdamG10 says...

Luke was fantastic against Villa last week. If he keeps up that sort of form for the final few games it's going to be very difficult for Roy not to include him in the squad. Fingers crossed for him as I feel he deserves it. He's been brilliant this season! As for Downings comments about Carroll, what is he on about?? Offers something different? Really?? If a cheating , elbowing useless donkey is what Roy's after then yes he's the man. On the other hand if England are after a target man with great vision, passing ability, and a dead ball specialist then it's SRL all day long for me! He's the chap that offers something different . We're Southampton we're off to Brazil.
Luke was fantastic against Villa last week. If he keeps up that sort of form for the final few games it's going to be very difficult for Roy not to include him in the squad. Fingers crossed for him as I feel he deserves it. He's been brilliant this season! As for Downings comments about Carroll, what is he on about?? Offers something different? Really?? If a cheating , elbowing useless donkey is what Roy's after then yes he's the man. On the other hand if England are after a target man with great vision, passing ability, and a dead ball specialist then it's SRL all day long for me! He's the chap that offers something different . We're Southampton we're off to Brazil. AdamG10
  • Score: 7

8:11am Fri 25 Apr 14

Saintsayer II says...

How can they go head to head if they are both playin left back
How can they go head to head if they are both playin left back Saintsayer II
  • Score: 5

11:30am Fri 25 Apr 14

Jan28th1984 says...

Baines has it all as LB and is the best dead-ball player since Beckham, so he's in. So is it Cole or Shaw for his back-up? Cole has the experience and played very well against Atletico in the week. Shaw has great potential and plays like a veteran at 18.
It will be close but I think Hodgson will take Baines and Cole this time, and he will take Shaw to one side and say time is on his side and he will get his chance. Experience will count in those games so I think Cole will get the nod. This has to Cole's last international championship and we are up against Italy and Uruguay, and if we get past the group stage there are better teams than them waiting for us.
I admire Shaw as a player, but I think he will have to wait for Euro 16 to get his chance.
Baines has it all as LB and is the best dead-ball player since Beckham, so he's in. So is it Cole or Shaw for his back-up? Cole has the experience and played very well against Atletico in the week. Shaw has great potential and plays like a veteran at 18. It will be close but I think Hodgson will take Baines and Cole this time, and he will take Shaw to one side and say time is on his side and he will get his chance. Experience will count in those games so I think Cole will get the nod. This has to Cole's last international championship and we are up against Italy and Uruguay, and if we get past the group stage there are better teams than them waiting for us. I admire Shaw as a player, but I think he will have to wait for Euro 16 to get his chance. Jan28th1984
  • Score: 0

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