Hodgson will find it tough to pick five Liverpool players for England

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Some questions will soon be answered relating to the England squad for Euro 2012, but 8/11 seems terrific value that new manager Roy Hodgson will take no more than four players from former club Liverpool.

Hodgson can only take 23 players to Euro 2012 and the handicap line is whether there will be fewer or more than 4.5 players from Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard is the only almost absolute certainty and he must now be fancied to skipper the side given that he was Liverpool captain under Hodgson.

However, finding another four Liverpool players to make the final 23 is tough going.

The most likely appears to be Glen Johnson, but he is one of three players bidding for only two slots at right-back.

There are growing calls for PFA Young Player of the Year Kyle Walker to be included with one eye on the future, while it would be hard to leave out Micah Richards as he has been a regular starter for potential Premier League winners Manchester City.

Hodgson could also decide to take Manchester United’s Phil Jones – who has gained both experience at right back and in central defence this season – offering added versatility.

The other two Liverpool players in main contention for a squad space are Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, but neither are certainties.

Although playing regularly, Downing has chipped in with few goals and assists for Liverpool this season.

His only positive is that he is left-footed, which may offer a different dimension to the likes of Theo Walcott, James Milner and Ashley Young.

Carroll would also offer something different if Hodgson felt the need to take a target man, with Peter Crouch his only leading rival for this role.

But a fifth Liverpool player to upset the handicap seems almost impossible to predict, with Martin Kelly, Jordan Henderson or Lille loanee Joe Cole perhaps the only trio with the smallest chance of being selected.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.