Jordan Henderson, England National Team (PA Images)

Daniel Sturridge features as Jordan Henderson captains England in Slovenia draw

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was unable to mark a special night as England skipper with victory, featuring with Daniel Sturridge in the Three Lions’ goalless draw with Slovenia.

After beating Malta 2-0 at Wembley, Gareth Southgate’s side took on Slovenia looking for a second win in as many games to cement top spot in their World Cup qualifying group.

But on an occasion to savour for Henderson, captaining his country for the first time, the 26-year-old, nor Sturridge, could inspire the win the Reds skipper will have dreamed of as the hosts earned a thoroughly deserved point.

Southgate made two changes to his starting XI in Ljubljana, with Tottenham duo Danny Rose and Eric Dier replacing the injured Ryan Bertrand and dropped Wayne Rooney.

The caretaker boss once again deployed his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Henderson – who captained the team for 73 minutes before Rooney’s introduction – taking up a central midfield role alongside the incoming Dier.

Sturridge again led the Three Lions’ attack, supported by Theo Walcott, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard.

Against an energetic Slovenia side, Southgate’s men struggled to find any rhythm with their passing, and as a result, lacked control in the game and penetration in attack.

The home side closest to scoring, hitting the post in the first-half, and had the far better chances overall – with only a number of impressive stops from an in-form Joe Hart preventing England suffering defeat.

It was an uninspiring team display from England, who failed to register a single shot on target in the first-half and rarely threatened throughout, with only some weak second-half attempts to show.

The limited collective performance was reflected in a hard-working but unproductive individual display from Henderson, who was simple in possession and typically energetic in the middle of the park, though for little reward.

Henderson’s most noteworthy moment came after 70 minutes when he nearly ruined his own big night, seeing a sloppy pass pounced upon by Josip Ilicic, who Hart denied one-on-one inside the box.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 29, 2013: England's Daniel Sturridge in action against Republic of Ireland during the International friendly match at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, it was also quiet evening for Sturridge, who played 80 minutes of the clash after keeping his place following his goal-scoring display against Malta last time out.

The Reds striker was on the periphery of the action for most of the night, starved of service from his support cast and midfield, but when on the ball, his decision-making and quality surprisingly lacked.

Despite largely disappointing nights for the duo, positives come with Henderson and Sturridge appearing set to return to Merseyside having avoided injury.

This will be much to the relief of Jurgen Klopp ahead of Man United’s looming Anfield visit.

The Liverpool boss is already sweating on the fitness of Georginio Wijnaldum, who picked up a hamstring injury in Holland’s 1-0 loss to France on Monday night.

Meanwhile Adam Lallana, uninvolved for England due to a groin problem, is also in a race against time to be fit, leaving Klopp facing the prospect of having to alter his in-form team for a mouth-watering clash.

More from This Is Anfield

Fan Comments