England unveil official squad numbers: James No.1

3rd June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

With the excitement of England’s final 23 having been decided a few days ago, the attention from the press now turns towards some of the other interesting sub-plots; Who start in goal against USA in England’s World Cup opener? Which forward will partner Wayne Rooney up front? Will Gareth Barry be fit in time to start against the United States? Not only are these debates the media are thriving on, but bookmakers as well are making the most out of England’s riddles, putting up various markets to coincide with Fabio Capello’s big decisions.


The battle for the gloves appear to lye between Robert Green and David James, with Joe Hart’s inexperience at this level likely to leave him in the dark despite an impressive campaign on long with Birmingham City and a convincing display between the sticks in England’s recent friendly against Japan. Talking of friendly, this tussle for keeping supremacy is just that if what each keeper has to say is anything to go by, with all three uttering the same sentiment, that they’re here for the team and that they have faith in whoever is chosen.

The biggest indication from Capello came earlier today when announced the squad numbers, naming David James as his number 1. As a result, James has leaped into strong favouritism despite Robert Green having played a large portion of England’s qualifiers. The Portsmouth shot-stopped is now the slim odds of 2/7 with Bet365 to start in goal against the United States on June 12th, with Green 3/1.


Capello’s next hint was with the strikers, handing Peter Crouch one of eleven starting numbers. Crouchy, who has a better international scoring record than any other striker in camp, was given the keys to the number 9 shirt on Thursday by Capello and is now 2/5 with Bet365 to start against the United States in favour of Emile Heskey, who served England and Capello well during qualifying when playing the role of Rooney’s assistant, with Heskey now 2/1 to start instead. The one remaining forward is pacey Jermain Defoe, a player Capello looks likely to use as a super-sub rather than a first-team fixture, and the Tottenham hitman is 5/1 to lead the line against the USA on June 12th.


The Barry debate we are just as much in the dark as you are. After watching England’s latest efforts against Mexico and Japan, we think everyone is of the same opinion that Barry is pivotal to England’s chances playing in that holding role, enabling Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to play further up the pitch. The Man City midfielder was handed the number 14 shirt but that doesn’t matter, as if Barry recovers in time he will definitely start. His shirt allocation is of little indication as to how quickly he is recovering. Gareth is 6/4 to start against USA and it’s basically a case of having eyes in the back of your head. As soon as you hear news that Barry is winning his battle, get on as his price will begin to drop.

However, if Barry isn’t fit in time, then the squad numbers will become informative, as with Joe Cole being handed the No. 11, it would appear as though Cole will start on the left, with Gerrard dropping back into a four man midfield. Joe Cole incidentally is now 1/3 with SkyBet to play from the off against the United States.


Official Squad Numbers:

1. David James
2. Glen Johnson
3. Ashley Cole
4. Steven Gerrard
5. Rio Ferdinand
6. John Terry
7. Aaron Lennon
8. Frank Lampard
9. Peter Crouch
10. Wayne Rooney
11. Joe Cole
12. Robert Green
13. Stephen Warnock
14. Gareth Barry
15. Matthew Upson
16. James Milner
17. Shaun Wright-Philipps
18. Jamies Carragher
19. Jermain Defoe
20. Ledley King
21. Emile Heskey
22. Michael Carrick
23. Joe Hart

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