Whilst already favourite to be named captain for England’s Euro 2012 campaign, the odds on Steven Gerrard skippering the side against France have now been slashed from 1/1 to 8/13.
Gerrard’s past experience of captaining England would appear to set him apart from other candidates, and 4/1 Scott Parker, who took on the role in England’s last outing, is now an injury worry.
Parker missed out on Tottenham’s final four games of the season with an Achilles problem, and his club manager Harry Redknapp has decreed it a very real possibility that the midfielder won’t be fit in time for the Euros.
New England boss Roy Hodgson is set to name his provisional tournament squad on Wednesday, and Gerrard’s odds would likely be trimmed further should Parker miss out.
The Spurs man remains joint-second favourite in the betting however, along with Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has often declared his will to one day captain his country.
A newly-crowned Premier League champion, Hart would likely have a better chance of justifying 4/1 odds to lead the side were he not a goalkeeper.
Midfielder Frank Lampard comes next in the betting meanwhile, as an 8/1 shot to take the armband against France, and this appears a plausible scenario should Gerrard be forced to sit out the opener for any reason.
Lampard’s club team-mate John Terry is a highly unlikely choice to be re-instated as leader though, attributed a 66/1 price to be first out the tunnel in Poland and Ukraine.
What appears to lend further weight to the notion that Gerrard will resume the role meanwhile, is the relationship he enjoyed with Hodgson during the latter’s brief Liverpool tenure.
Hodgson placed much responsibility on Gerrard in utilising him as his skipper at Anfield, and would seemingly have to look no further for a prime candidate to take the mantle this summer.