How does Ollie Watkins’ recent scoring streak compare to his English rivals?

How does Ollie Watkins’ recent scoring streak compare to his English rivals?

How does Ollie Watkins’ recent scoring streak compare to his English rivals?

Ollie Watkins missed out on the England squad for the World Cup but his form since then has certainly put him on the bill for next selection in June.

The Aston Villa forward scored his 10th and 11th goals in his last 12 appearances as his side beat Newcastle 3-0 in front of national team manager Gareth Southgate on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency examines Watkins’ scoring streak and how it compares to his English rivals.

Goal streak

Watkins’ current streak began on 21 January, when he ended a run of four goalless appearances by scoring in Villa’s win at Southampton.

His goals against Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal all proved in vain as Villa conceded 11 goals at the other end to lose all three games, but his penalty against Everton resulted in a 2-0 win.

Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are the only sides who have prevented him from scoring in his last twelve games, although he has scored against West Ham between times and set up Jacob Ramsey against the Cherries.

He then opened the scoring in victories over Chelsea and Foxes and grabbed a crucial late goal against Nottingham Forest, before sinking in-form team-mates Villa Newcastle with a brace and an impressive assist for Ramsey – he also hit the post and were denied another goal by a marginal offside whistle from the VAR.

England expect?

Gareth Southgate, top centre, watches Aston Villa's victory over Nottingham Forest

Gareth Southgate (top centre) watching Watkins’ last two games for Aston Villa (Joe Giddens/PA)

Harry Kane is set in stone as England’s captain and main striker, but several players have alternated in the role of his main support and Watkins has the strongest case on the current form.

Since the World Cup, his goalscoring rate of 12 goals in 17 games (0.71 per game) even surpasses Kane himself – the latter’s 14 goals out of 22, including his two goals for England in qualifying at the European Championships, they reach 0.64 goals per game.

Marcus Rashford, whose post-World Cup streak caught the eye before Watkins’, has 20 in an impressive 28 games in that span – also averaging 0.71 but has passed Watkins to three decimal places.

Marcus Rashford, center, celebrates a World Cup goal against Iran with Harry Kane, right, and Phil Foden

Has Watkins done enough to join Marcus Rashford (centre) and Harry Kane (right) in the England squad? (Martin Rickett/PA)

That workload may have proved costly for Rashford, who missed England’s March camp as a precaution and was ruled out for “a few games” by United after sustaining a groin injury. While fit and available, his regular role on the left wing would leave room for both him and Watkins in the Southgate squad.

Callum Wilson, who earned two substitute outings in Qatar, has since scored just four goals in 17 Newcastle appearances and lost his starting job to club record Alexander Isak.

Ivan Toney made his England debut as a late substitute against Ukraine last month and has scored eight goals in 16 matches since the World Cup. The Brentford forward is awaiting the outcome of an investigation into 262 alleged breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules which could significantly affect his availability for club and country.

Watkins’ form is even comparable to Manchester City’s top-flight runaway top scorer Erling Haaland. He can’t live up to the Norwegian’s 24 goals in 22 games since the World Cup break, but Haaland has also scored 11 in his last 12 league games.

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