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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Jags Senses England Chance

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Phil Jagielka sees Wednesday's game with Brazil as a chance to stake a claim to become a first choice England centre-half.
 
From being initially left out of the Euro 2012 squad in May, Jagielka has played the last three competitive internationals under Roy Hodgson.

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But with plenty of competition for central defensive berths at present, the Everton man is hoping a strong performance against the attacking flair of Brazil will stand him in good stead.
 
"The last 12 months have been a bit of a whirlwind," Jagielka explained. "From being in a position where you could pretty much have written down the back four and guessed who was going to be on the bench, now I don't think anyone is guaranteed to start.
 
"We have four or five really good centre-backs who are competing for both positions."
 
Jagielka will contend with Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling for a starting spot against the South American side.
 
"It is not even like one central defensive place is nailed down and the other is available," he continued. "I guess that is what the manager enjoys.
 
"He has got a bit of everything – youth, experience, people who are playing in the Champions League.
 
"It is down to us to try and put your authority down and get that place."

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