Punters Plunge On Capello's England Squad Numbers Revelation
England boss Fabio Capello revealed his squad numbers for the World Cup in South Africa and news that Joe Cole and Peter Crouch appear to be preferred in his first 11 caused a rush of betting activity for Top England goalscorer on betting exchanges, yesterday.
The bookmakers were slower to react and while the odds for Crouch to be Top England goalscorer shortened as low as 4/1 on Betfair, odds of 15/2 are available with Paddy Power.
Pundits have taken the squad numbers to be a clear indication of Capello’s starting eleven against the United States on 12 June. David James has been given the number one jersey, while Crouch is handed the number nine shirt ahead of Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey.
Following his second half performance against Japan on Sunday, Joe Cole gets the number eleven jersey and may be chosen to play on the left wing, while Spurs winger Aaron Lennon will wear the number seven.
With Cole and Lennon on the flanks, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard will be reunited again in the centre.
Holding midfielder Gareth Barry, an almost certain starter before suffering an ankle injury on 5 May, has been given the number 14 shirt, reflecting the uncertainty that he can recover full fitness in time to play in the opening match.
Many observers believed Robert Green’s excellent display against Mexico would earn him first choice as goalkeeper, but Capello has chosen to give the West Ham keeper number 12, with Joe Hart wearing 23.
The squad numbers do not confirm which players are first-choice, but they are usually a good barometer of who is likely to play in the opening match and it appears punters have reacted in this belief.