Everton defensive and set piece specialist Leighton Baines will take up the left-back role in England's 2014 World Cup campaign, bringing with him set piece danger that has made him a reliable force to replace Ashley Cole. Baines is as prominent in attack as he is in defence, and will trouble defenders himself to make his long player betting odds seem very profitable in individual goalscorer markets.
Baines made his debut for Wigan Athletic in 2002, part of the squad that were victorious in the Second Division during that initial season as he cemented first-team play regularly in the Premier League by 2004–05. Baines scored his first goal for the club with a fine strike from distance against Ipswich Town, one of four goals in 162 appearances during his competitive seven seasons at Wigan.
Baines then came under the watchful eyes of top clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton, the latter being his chosen destination for a £5 million transfer. Baines has remained loyal to Everton since 2007, thriving in a left-back position and in 2012 being named in the PFA's Premier League Team of the Year - the first Everton player then in 22 years since Neville Southall did so.
The left-back has scored 28 goals in 281 appearances for Everton, creating more chances than any other player in Europe in 2012/13 and scoring five goals in each of the previous two Premier League campaigns.
Baines has an increasing England portfolio at International level with 22 appearances for the Three Lions, including one goal during 10 World Cup qualification matches for the country which concluded a 5-0 victory over Moldova.
Leighton Baines World Cup Betting Tips
Despite being a defensive player, Baines has earned a reputation of joining the attack and providing goals himself as a reward. Although top scorer is out of the question, the long odds expected for any defender in individual goalscorer markets should be exploited thanks to Baines' superlative free-kick specialty, and his role as one of the lead penalty takers.