It seems an awfully long time ago now that Roy Hodgson promised to pick his England team based on form and it’s fair to say he hasn’t followed through with that aim.

If he had Wayne Rooney wouldn’t have come close to wearing the three lions in 2015 while Gary Cahill would barely have enjoyed any game-time during the recent qualifying fixtures.

We’re not here today however to continue the age-old form v stature debate but rather lay out who is most deserving of caps tonight and Tuesday based entirely on their contribution to the 2015/16 Premier league season so far. Using date courtesy of the EA Sports Performance Index – the Official Player Rating Index of the Premier League – it certainly makes for revealing reading.

GK: Jack Butland Overall PPI score – 135

Talksport this week selected Butland in their team of the season so far and it’s not surprising considering his superb tally of 50 saves to accompany a series of eye-catching performances.


DF: Scott Dann Overall PPI score – 196

Mr Consistency right across the board which accumulatively gives the Palace star the highest rating for an English top flight defender.


DF: Chris Smalling Overall PPI score – 153

No surprise here: Smalling has been a man reborn of late flourishing under Van Gaal’s safety-first approach. An impressive 80% for tackles won reveals a finer tuning to his timing.


DF: Aaron Cresswell Overall PPI score – 174

In a similar manner to Dann each stat doesn’t leap out at you but when put together illustrate a player currently bossing his position. A major factor in West Ham’s fantastic season but seems fated to be forever under-rated.


DF: Kyle Walker Overall PPI score – 153

The Spurs full-back has overcome a prolonged dip in form and returned with a bang. Walker is the man you want charging down any Costa effort this evening being the interception king on 36.

England v Moldova - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier...LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06:  Ross Barkley of England in action during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Moldova at Wembley Stadium on September 6, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

MF: Ross Barkley Overall PPI score – 250

According to the stats – and stats don’t lie – Barkley has been the most influential and impactful English midfielder by a country mile in 2015/16. An astounding 529 completed passes puts him into Silva territory.


MF: Daniel Drinkwater Overall PPI score – 197

Nearly damn broke the internet back in August when he, yup, drank water pitchside the Leicester man has orchestrated much of the Foxes’ success this term covering every blade in the process. His passing stats are head and shoulder above all others but Barkley’s.


MF: Raheem Sterling Overall PPI score – 213

Settling into his new club set-up and gradually unburdening himself of his hefty price-tag Sterling’s performances are improving week on week. 4 goals and 11 shots on target discredit the widely held belief that he struggles in that department.


MF: Marc Albrighton Overall PPI score – 187

Understandably overshadowed by Jamie Vardy’s incredible goal-scoring feats it should not go unnoticed that the former Villa winger has equally played a part in Leicester’s European challenge.
4 assists in 12 is some going and with his confidence high we’re now seeing the player who first broke through back in 2009.


FW: Harry Kane Overall PPI score – 296

Due to his headline-grabbing 21 strikes last term Kane was harshly measured in the opening two months while enduring a barren run in front of goal. Yet the Spurs frontman contributed in other areas as his remarkable 205 completed passes illustrates.
Now that he is back and firing we are once again seeing the full package.


FW: Jamie Vardy Overall PPI score – 378

The one-man fairytale continues a sensational run of rich form and it will be fascinating to see how he copes up against the elite rearguards of Spain and France.
12 goals in 12 games is nothing short of a phenomenon.