Hodgson's Euro 2012 England Squad Predictions
As the Premiership season nears its penultimate gameweek, our thoughts – fans and players alike – are increasingly focussed on this summer’s Euro 2012 finals, commencing on June 8th in Polkraine.
As England fans look forward to a new era under newly appointed Roy Hodgson, the selection of the 23-man squad will likely throw up a surprise or two nonetheless.
As the season unwinds (for most), many players, with Euros in mind, will be desperately keen to avoid injury between now and June. If predictions are your thing, head over to Paddy Power and check out the great selection of markets offered on this year’s tournament. Let’s take a look at who we reckon will and won’t be on the plane to Polkraine!
With space for three keepers, Joe Hart and Robert Green are dead-certs, with Ben Foster more likely to get the nod over the much-improved Scott Carson.
The eight defenders will comprise of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Joleon Lescott, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones and Micah Richards with the remaining slot going to Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines or Kieran Gibbs. Walker gets our vote, given his impressive progress of late.
From eight midfielders, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Jack Wilshere and James Milner will be there, leaving room for one more from Aaron Lennon, Tom Cleverley, Andrew Johnson, Jack Rodwell or our pick of the bunch, Paul Scholes.
That leaves Hodgson with the tricky task of picking four strikers to lead the line and fire England to glory this summer. Expect Darren Bent to deputise up front during Rooney’s absence for the first two games, with Bent, Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe, Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge in the mix for the remaining two spots.
Welbeck, who worryingly left the Etihad with his foot in a brace on Monday, gets our nod if fit, along with Walcott, for his blistering pace.
That leaves a number of hopefuls waiting in the wings on standby, should God forbid, an injury crisis unfold. Expect this list to include David Stockdale, Michael Dawson, Stewart Downing, Josh McEachran, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch, and Grant Holt.
This non-exhaustive list is, of course, merely our opinion on how things will unfold over the coming weeks. It would be great to hear your views and opinions on who you think the new manager should select - will it be a case of putting faith in the old guard as we suspect, or will the new gaffer mix it up and take a chance on the youth?