Roy Hodgson is set to announce his Euro 2016 squad on Thursday and there are not expected to be many, if any, surprise inclusions.
Hodgson’s squad will look almost identical to the previous squad that he named for the friendlies against Germany and Holland back in March, with the exception of Jack Wilshere and a possible replacement for the recently injured Danny Welbeck.
Once the squad is named on Thursday, however, there are still games to be played in the Premier League and in international friendlies before the Euros get underway.
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Injuries can strike at any time and could force the England manager to restructure his squad between now and the start of the tournament.
With this in mind, here are five players who deserve to be on Hodgson’s reserve list should the injury curse strike.
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His chances of a place in the squad may have slightly increased now that Danny Welbeck seems set to miss the tournament, although it is more than likely that he is behind Theo Walcott in the pecking order, as Hodgson likes to play Welbeck out wide as opposed to up-front.
Carroll has enjoyed a recent resurgence in form after an injury-hit career at West Ham United.
He has scored nine goals this season, including a superb hat-trick in West Ham’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal in April and has been a key player for the Hammers in an excellent season for the east-London club.
Everyone is aware of Carroll’s aerial ability and he would certainly provide an alternative option from the bench for his country.
The West Ham striker is surely the next in line to be called up should any strikers be forced to pull out of the squad.
Carroll shouldn’t pack his boots away for the summer just yet.
The Sunderland striker will be behind Andy Carroll should any injuries occur to the first-choice strikers, but the 33-year-old is, arguably, the third most in-form English striker in the Premier League (behind Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane).
Defoe has been in superb form for a struggling Sunderland side this season, and his 15 goals in 32 games, have helped to put Sunderland’s Premier League fate in their own hands.
With an England career that boasts 19 goals in 55 games, Defoe would be a solid, experienced back-up for Hodgson should he be forced to consider his options.
Perhaps a surprising inclusion in this list but, with Welbeck set to miss the Euros, it is expected that Hodgson will call up another wide player.
Many expect Welbeck’s replacement to be fellow Arsenal attacker, Theo Walcott, but Andros Townsend is arguably the man in form.
Having failed to secure a starting place under Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, Townsend moved to Tyneside and has enjoyed a relatively good spell at a Newcastle United side who are currently staring relegation in the face.
The 24-year-old has scored four goals in 11 appearances for the Toon Army since his move north in January and may well have played himself into contention for a place on the plane come June.
Hodgson gave Townsend his England debut back in 2013 and could yet decide to give a player who has revived his career another shot at international level.
For the first time in many years, the England national side are well stocked with full-backs and severely lacking at centre-back.
Kyle Walker and Nathaniel Clyne are widely expected to be named in Hodgson’s squad on Thursday, but the 29-year-old Simpson is another right-back who could step-up should he need to.
The Premier League winner had to fight for a starting place under Claudio Ranieri, after the Italian started the season with Richie De Laet as his first choice right-back.
The Belgian defender was replaced by Simpson and the Englishman has gone on to play 29 games for Leicester in the league this season.
A good right-back option for Hodgson, but he will be nowhere near the squad on Thursday.
It seems incredible that his name even appears on a list like this, but the 26-year-old former Aston Villa winger has had a stellar season for the reigning English champions.
While everyone has been in awe of the likes of Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and N'Golo Kante, Albrighton has been superbly consistent for his club making 37 appearances, providing six assists and two goals.
Having been released by Aston Villa in 2014, Albrighton was picked up by Leicester and didn’t play a great deal in the 2014-15 season.
This season under Claudio Ranieri, he has been a revelation, and if Hodgson finds himself short of wingers, he should be reminded that the Leicester City man is a real wide-man who performs consistently and is on an excellent run of form.
It is highly unlikely that he will even be considered as a back-up, but his form this season surely demands that he should be taken notice of.
Who else could be considered as an outside bet for the Euros this summer? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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