After missing an entire season for Arsenal, Jack Wilshere had hoped to recover in time for Euro 2012, but his absence from the England squad will only negate their chances of justifying 8/1 odds for tournament success.
Wilshere suffered a stress fracture to his right ankle during pre-season training with Arsenal, and having failed to fully recover as of yet, he made it clear through social networking site Twitter that he will be unavailable for selection for the summer championship.
“My ankle is good. I just have a few niggles and having been out for so long I will not be fit enough for the Euros,” he tweeted.
“I hope England can do well and bring home the cup! I will be watching and cheering the boys on like a proper England fan!”
They would have a much better chance of bringing the cup home should the fearless midfielder have recovered in time to make the trip, and with Wayne Rooney also absent for England’s first two games, downbeat punters may back the 15/8 odds for England to exit at the group stage in Poland and Ukraine.
That said, England have fared quite well in the absence of Wilshere over the past year.
In a game where his slick passing style would have perhaps been missed most, a home tie against Spain, England came out 1-0 winners via a strike from experienced midfielder Frank Lampard.
England also achieved victory over Sweden, who they will meet in the group stage of this year’s competition, and those with more confidence in their ability to progress can back them as 13/8 shots to exit the tournament at the quarter-final stage.
It is 9/2 that the Three Lions are beaten semi-finalists, whilst you can get the same 8/1 price about the currently managerless side finishing runners-up, as you can for them to be crowned Euro 2012 champions.