England defender Gary Cahill will not participate in Euro 2012 due to a broken jaw, according to the English FA.
The Chelsea center-back picked up the injury after colliding with goalkeeper Joe Hart in England’s 1-0 victory over Belgium at Wembley Stadium on 2 June.
“The Chelsea defender has two fractures of his jaw, one either side,” revealed the English FA.
“The England medical team have been in close contact overnight with Cahill’s club doctors who will treat him moving forward. Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will be called into the squad – subject to agreement from UEFA.”
Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry will also miss this summer’s European Championships for England, with Jordan Henderson and Phil Jagielka replacing the midfield duo in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad.
Lampard had a roller-coaster campaign with Chelsea FC in 2011-12, which was undoubtedly highlighted with the Blues’ triumphs in the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
The long-time England international tallied 19 goals and 10 assists in 57 appearances for club and country in 2011-12.
In contrast, Lampard’s replacement, Jordan Henderson, bagged just two goals and three assists in 48 appearances for Liverpool last season.
Henderson is 25/1 to be England’s top goalscorer at Euro 2012.
Furthermore, Roy Hodgson was forced to replace Manchester City defensive midfielder Gareth Barry with Everton center-back Phil Jagielka after the City man sustained a tear to his lower abdomen in England’s 1-0 defeat of Norway on 26 May.
The losses of Lampard and Barry will surely hurt England’s midfield, which is already inferior to the top teams in Europe.
In addition, the loss of Gary Cahill, who played all 120 minutes of the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich, will also impact England in a negative way.
As previously mentioned, Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will replace Cahill in England’s Euro 2012 squad.
Kelly made 20 appearances for the Reds in 2011-12, netting one goal in the English Carling Cup.
His inclusion is quite peculiar, especially when considering that he is not even Liverpool’s first choice right-back.
However, Hodgson’s strange selections do not end there.
To be perfectly honest, the inclusion of Liverpool winger Stewart Downing was absolutely ridiculous. In fact, I’d call it a managerial howler.
In 36 English Premier League appearances in 2011-12, Downing failed to tally a goal or an assist. Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Daniel Sturridge netted 11 goals and three assists in 30 league games. I think that says it all.
England’s injury woes have shifted the balance of power in Group D, with France the new favorites to win the group outright at 9/20 odds.
The Three Lions are 11/20 to top Group D in Poland-Ukraine this summer.
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