Wayne Rooney has had his three-match Euro 2012 ban reduced to two games following a successful appeal by the FA.
The original three-match ban – incurred for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic during a 2-2 draw with Montenegro in October – would have meant Rooney missing all of England’s Euro 2012 Group D games against France, Sweden and the Ukraine
However, his successful appeal means he will now be available for the final game against the Ukraine.
It also means that – barring injury – he is guaranteed to be on the plane to Krakow following weeks of speculation about Fabio Capello’s intentions.
England have remained steady at 9/1 to win the European Champioships but their odds of 4/5 to win their final group game against the Ukraine are looking increasingly tempting.
A refreshed and fired-up Rooney will be crucial to England’s hopes of progressing in the competition and, although much of the hard work of qualifying for the knockout stages will need to be done without him, he could be crucial in the final group game.
England are currently big 4/11 favourites to qualify from the group and are 11/8 to finish on top.
It’s not the easiest group they could have had but England should certainly have enough to quality.
Even with their dire performances in the World Cup they were able to qualify for the knockouts, while their tournament qualification campaigns under Capello have been exemplary.
A punt on England to win the group at 11/8 is now starting to look like a bet well worth taking on – especially now they will have their talisman for the final game.