One of the big decisions facing Roy Hodgson when picking his squad for Euro 2012 is who to name in central defence and the early consensus is that John Terry is most at risk of missing out on a spot in the final 23.
Four centre backs are typically named in a squad for a major tournament and under normal circumstances there would be space for both Terry and Rio Ferdinand.
However, the fact that Terry faces a trial after Euro 2012 relating to claims that he racially abused Ferdinand’s brother Anton earlier this season has left Hodgson reportedly concerned that picking both in his squad could result in a bad atmosphere in the camp.
Hodgson is expected to speak to both players to gauge their thoughts ahead of naming his squad, but the manager is likely to favour Ferdinand should it be decided that there is only space for one of them.
England are not short of alternate options at centre back if this decision is reached, with Terry’s Chelsea colleague Gary Cahill and Manchester City Joleon Lescott among the most likely replacements.
Young Manchester United duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also in the running for squad spots, especially as both can be utilised at right-back, while Everton’s Phil Jagielka should not be totally ruled out of making the 23.
All of these options would leave England short of international experience at the heart of their defence, but the changing of the guard will need to take place eventually and there has been a greater focus on youth of late.
England’s odds are 9/1 to win Euro 2012 and it is 13/8 that the progress to the latter stages of the tournament by topping Group D.