Another day and another influential England player is ruled out of Euro 2012, as Roy Hodgson’s injury list mounts up. With a crunch game against France on Monday evening the England boss will be hoping for no more slip ups from his squad, as the three lions are still rated as underdogs at 2/1 with Paddy Power for victory.
This time it is Chelsea defender Gary Cahill that will miss the competition fracturing his jaw in England’s 1-0 over Belgium on Saturday.
Cahill joins Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Jack Wilshire on the treatment table and England will also have to make do without key man Wayne Rooney for the first two games as he serves a suspension for a sending off picked up in qualifying.
Hardly the ideal preparation going into a tournament of this importance but it seems the loss of Cahill, Barry and Lampard hasn’t affected England’s chances within the betting markets.
Their price for outright success in the tournament is still best priced 14/1. Perhaps punters are thinking that the withdrawal of Barry and Lampard, who are renowned by some England fans as a negative influence on their style of play, could actually help the team performances rather than hinder their chances.
On the whole though the feeling within punting circles is that England will struggle in Poland and Ukraine despite an assured 1-0 wins over Norway and Belgium.
Bookmakers continue to report that one of the best backed selections of the entire tournament is for England to be eliminated at the group stages, which is top of the shop 17/10 with Ladbrokes.
Versatile defender Phil Jagielka has been called up as Barry’s replacement, while Jordan Henderson has replaced Lampard and Martin Kelly for Cahill, with Phil Jones likely to deputise in midfield if one of Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker, or James Milner is unavailable.
Jagielka, despite getting the call-up, is probably fourth choice in the squad to play centre-half as John Terry and Joleon Lescott look set to be the first-choice paring.
Bet365 have made Jagielka a 1/6 not to start against France in the opening game and 7/2 to do so.