Lescott and Dawson absences put England in trouble against Holland

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The selections of Frazier Campbell and Tom Cleverley may make the most positive headlines as Stuart Pearce has picked a squad with the future in mind, but the named defenders will leave England vulnerable against Holland.

Both England and Holland are 6/4 to triumph in the Wembley friendly on February 29th and a home victory could possibly allow Pearce to take over the reins full time for Euro 2012.

However, it is hard not to side against a Dutch victory, given that England look slightly weak and very inexperienced against an attack that could include Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Seven of England’s eight defenders have spent hardly any time in central defence, with the one exception being Gary Cahill, who will hardly be high on confidence after a string of nervy performances since signing for Chelsea, conceding seven goals in three appearances.

There is the argument that Phil Jones, Chris Smalling or even Micah Richards could all be deployed at centre-back, but they arguably lack something compared to other players left out of the squad.

Joleon Lescott has almost been ever present for Manchester City this season and has performed admirably when picked for England of late by Fabio Capello.

Phil Jagielka hardly has a bad game for England, while the fact that Michael Dawson is captain of Spurs and walked straight back into the team after a lengthy injury should be a boost for his chances.

Any two of these three would surely be better choices than a combination from within the squad and it is a slight surprise that three actual right-backs have been picked and two other players with experience of performing there, while recognised centre backs have been left out.

This bodes well for Holland and Euro 2012 odds of 8/1 on England winning would not look too appealing if a similar defence is taken to Poland and the Ukraine.

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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.