Five English players to watch in the FA Cup
FA Cup fourth round time offers a chance for players to impress England coach Roy Hodgson.
There may still be two months until England’s next games against Lithuania and Italy at the end of March, but talk of international call-ups is never far from the headlines.
With 15 Premier League clubs in the fourth round, the FA Cup betting is wide open and the competition can be used as a springboard to greater prominence.
Here are five English players who, for one reason or another, will be looking to shine in the fourth round:
The on-loan Southampton full-back won two caps for England at the start of the 2012/13 season after starting Chelsea’s Champions League win over Bayern Munich at the end of the previous campaign.
He was overlooked for a call-up in November, despite having impressed just as much as team-mate Nathaniel Clyne this season. Bertrand started both games against Ipswich in the previous round and he will be eager to remind Hodgson what he can offer at left-back.
The Tottenham striker has scored 17 goals in all competitions for his club this season and has also scored eight times in 10 appearances for England’s Under 21s. Hodgson recently praised Kane’s progress and a senior call-up doesn’t look too far away.
With Spurs’ fourth-round tie against Leicester sandwiched between the Capital One Cup semi-final against Sheffield United, it’s a busy time for Kane. But he seems to thrive on playing football and he will want to prove this season isn’t going to be a flash in the pan.
With just three goals in 23 appearances since joining Liverpool last summer, Lambert is in danger of slipping out of the England reckoning, especially with Andy Carroll finding his form at West Ham. Lambert scored as a substitute against Aston Villa and manager Brendan Rodgers is happy with the 32-year-old’s contribution.
Lambert started against AFC Wimbledon in the last round, but failed to score, and will hope to find the net against Bolton in the fourth round. He will be determined to show Hodgson he still has a lot to offer.
A former Under 21 international, Noble has yet to graduate to the senior setup, but the 27-year-old isn’t giving up. He has been a key figure in West Ham’s excellent season and he was watched by Hodgson in the third-round replay against Everton.
A televised fourth round game against Bristol City gives him another chance to showcase his England credentials. He’s not a flashy player by any means, but he is certainly the type who could fulfil Hodgson’s instructions.
It’s probably a stretch to say the 19-year-old is even on the fringes of the England squad, but he is one to keep an eye on after an Under 20 call-up last November. Wilson scored his first goal of the season in Manchester United’s win at QPR last weekend and started the third round tie at Yeovil.
A fourth round game at Cambridge should see him start again. He has pace and can finish, and is the type of impact player who could one day become a regular member of the squad.