Midfielders can fill Rooney void to be top England scorer at Euro 2012
Despite heading into Euro 2012 suspended for England’s first two games, Wayne Rooney remains joint-favourite to be the Three Lions’ top tournament scorer, at 6/1.
Rooney hit four goals the last time he played in the European championships, and has come on massively since those 2004 championships in Portugal, where he took part as a raw 18-year-old.
A player similarly inexperienced at international level is expected to fill in for Rooney at this year’s tournament, as Danny Welbeck is thought to be in line to earn a fifth international cap.
Welbeck is 6/1 joint-favourite to top score for England, but his more experienced midfield colleagues could prove better options in the competition.
Steven Gerrard, named captain for the Euros by new England boss Roy Hodgson, is 7/1 to outscore his team-mates, and four goals in past major tournaments demonstrate his credentials.
Gerrard will be eager to lead by example, and the set-piece specialist may be a value option at that tempting 7/1.
Alternatively, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard can be backed to be England’s leading scorer at a big 10/1, in what is likely to be the last major international tournament of his career.
Lampard racked up three goals in England’s last European championships foray back in 2004, and despite his advancing years, his undoubted goalscoring instincts remain as sharp as ever.
The 33-year-old is also England’s designated penalty taker, so could get the chance to find the net via this route in Poland and Ukraine too.
Elsewhere, the improving Andy Carroll is a 7/1 option to lead England’s goal charts, but may be used more sparingly than aforementioned options, as could 8/1 shot Jermain Defoe.
Therefore, 7/1 Ashley Young may represent better value after scoring four goals in his last seven international appearances, whilst the electric Theo Walcott is a 12/1 chance.