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Get Off That Plane: Three England players who shouldn’t be going to France but probably will and the players who can replace them

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Same Old, Same Old

We find out on Thursday who makes the cut for England's Euro 2016 squad

Roy Hodgson is set to announce his England squad for the Euro 2016 Championship over the coming week. Much of the squad picks itself but there are a number of players who look set to make the final squad but probably shouldn’t, taking the place of some more worthy options. After a rather unexpected Premier League season on many fronts it is more surprising that there aren’t going to be more changes to the old reliable choices.

In goal Joe Hart hasn’t been poor enough nor have any of his England rivals been undeniably sensational enough to threaten the City stopper’s position. It’s been a similar story for England’s defenders. Gary Cahill, John Stones and Phil Jageilka have all been part of backlines which have shipped over 50 goals but they should all comfortably make the trip to France. Chris Smalling is the only English centre-half to have played regularly for one of the top four defences in the Premier League. The top one to be exact.

Full-back is a particularly strong position for England on both sides of the pitch so it’s in the midfield and up front where the contention lies. The odds shown below are each player’s respective price to make the England Euro 2016 squad.

1: Theo Walcott –

Where else could we start than with the eternal hot prospect that is Theo Walcott? A career spent on the verge of becoming a top player. 9 goals in 35 games this season isn’t the return of a quality striker but then he seems to be the only one who actually thinks that’s his best position. This summer his best position for England would be sitting on his couch watching someone more reliable and consistent sit on the England bench watching some combination of Kane, Vardy and Rooney.

It’s not like he steps things up on the International stage either. His 8 goals in 43 England appearances isn’t good enough to over look his consistently underwhelming club performances. Peter Crouch has 22 goals in 42 England appearances. Just saying.

Better Options:

Jermain Defoe –

Has been excellent for Sunderland this season scoring 18 in 35 games and yet he’s somehow a massiveto make the England squad. They’ve nearly all been important goals which are looking like keeping Sunderland in the Premier League. At international level he has 19 in 55 which is very respectable. If you need someone to come on and a nick a goal in a big game he’s a more natural finisher and a far stronger option than Walcott.

Andy Carroll –

He may have his limitation but his strengths offer England a more options up front. There may be a call for a more direct approach at times in this championship and the in form Carroll is perfect for these situations. He may not get a lot of playing time but for variety alone he should be ahead of Walcott.

Marcus Rashford –

Roy Hodgson has made it very clear that the promising young United talent won’t be part of the senior squad this summer which is a shame. English football would benefit more from giving this exciting talent some senior experience than flogging the dead horse that is Walcott’s potential.

2: Jack Wilshere –

It’s difficult to fathom how this guy is ashot to make the squad. Even when he’s at his best he’s over-rated but this season he has made just two appearances for Arsenal. A total playing time of 72 minutes, not including injury-time. You can’t pick a player who has spent the entire season out injured, especially not a player with a record for having a body made of twigs and chewing-gum. Plus he seems like a bit of a tool.

Better Options:

Danny Drinkwater –

The Leicester midfielder is less certain to be picked at 4/7 but should still be fine. Regardless he should be on the plane well ahead of Wilshere after playing a big role in Leicester’s title success.

James Ward-Prowse –

Think about it realistically. Dier, Milner, Barkley, Alli and Lallana should all start ahead of Wilshere. What you need then is a player you can rely on to come in and help shore up the midfield. James Ward-Prowse is a solid all rounder, with more of an emphasis on the defensive side of things, playing in an excellent Southampton team.

Ryan Mason –

Another solid performer who may be suffering from the performances of his Tottenham team-mates. He hasn’t grabbed the headlines like Alli, Kane and even Dier but similar to Ward-Prowse he’s a quality player who offers reliable back-up.

3: Raheem Sterling –

This one is less about whether he should be on the plane or not and more about the shortness of his price. England aren’t exactly awash with tricky wingers, a point underlined by the fact that Aaron Lennon is 10/1 to make the squad. That said, Sterling has been something of a disappointment since his £50m move to Man City from Liverpool and his stock is lower than it was this time last season. (Danny Welbeck would have been in this slot but looks set to miss out with injury anyway.)

Other Options:

Andros Townsend –

He is ending the season in very good form for Newcastle, despite their league position and offers pace and a little bit of trickery out wide. Would I pick him ahead of Sterling? Probably not but he’s an option.

Michail Antonio –

Yet to make an England appearance having spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues. The West Ham winger is very unlikely to be picked but he works harder and his final ball is better than Sterling’s.

What do you think?