Loftus-Cheek 5-1 for World Cup spot

THE absence of some of England’s biggest names has handed opportunities for those looking to push their World Cup claims and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is among those aiming to impress against Germany at Wembley.

Loftus-Cheek, 21, is on loan at the Premier League’s bottom club Crystal Palace from Chelsea and has long been seen as somebody who could push for full international honours in a variety of different midfield roles.

Gareth Southgate is rated a 5-1 shot by bet365 to select Loftus-Cheek for the World Cup, while Danny Drinkwater has been pushed out to 8-1 by Sky Bet after declining a call-up to the squad.

“I spoke to Danny earlier in the week but he feels he is not fit enough to play,” said Southgate, who was already minus the services of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli and Harry Winks.

Kane, Sterling, Henderson and Alli are seen as certainties for the World Cup in Russia, while Winks is also odds-on at 4-6 but Delph is a 3-1 shot with Sky Bet.

Ireland have been pushed out to 6-4 by Paddy Power to qualify for the World Cup as they prepare  to take on Denmark for a place in the finals.

Martin O’Neill received a double boost as Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward returned to training.

David Unsworth, 16-1 to be Everton’s next permanent manager before leading the Toffees to a 3-2 triumph over Watford on Sunday, is odds-on favourite to replace Ronald Koeman.

Betfred make Unsworth 5-6 with previous market leader Sam Allardyce drifting to 3-1 with Hills and Sean Dyche can be backed at 14-1 with Sky Bet.

Sunderland’s search for a new manager to replace Simon Grayson is ongoing with Aitor Karanka odds-on across the board to fill the Stadium of Light vacancy.

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is next on the list at 4-1 with Coral and Ally McCoist is at 10-1 with Paddy Power.

Match in Focus

19:30 TODAY BT2

Stuttgart v F Dusseldorf

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • A 3-0 defeat to Bayern is Stuttgart’s only loss in their last nine at home in the league
Expert verdict
Stuttgart, who finished last season with four straight wins, have struggled to get going with even World Cup-winning defender Benjamin Pavard unable to shore up a leaky rearguard. However, they can chalk up a first win of the season against Fortuna Dusseldorf, who also cannot keep a clean sheet.

 

Competitions

Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset

Teams

Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for

Players

A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next

Referees

Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages

Managers

From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence