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Mr Utility’s injury could lead to the return of Chelsea’s rock

| 07.05.2014

As is customary ahead of a major tournament for England, players who looked certain to take their place on the plane for the World Cup are dropping like flies as the number of injuries to Roy Hodgson’s pool of players mounts.

Spurs duo Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker are already serious doubts for Brazil having picked up injuries in the dying embers of the Premier League campaign and now one of the most vital pieces of Hodgson’s puzzle is in danger of missing out too.

Those who scratch their head in puzzlement having not seen any news of serious injuries to Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney are mistaken, for it is not either of those supposed lynchpins to Hodgson’s squad that have suffered a setback.

Phil Jones was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder during Manchester United’s 3-1 over Hull last time out and could miss his first World Cup finals as a result, with the England boss set to name his preliminary 30-man squad on Monday.

As a versatile player able to cover three positions, Jones was a valuable commodity to Hodgson as it allowed the former Liverpool boss to pick more forward thinking players without having to worry too much about cover at centre-back, right-back or holding midfield.

With this injury, the England boss has a selection headache to ponder despite Jones still being a 8/15 chance to make the squad.

With Walker also a doubt for the tournament, Chris Smalling will also certainly make the final 23 at odds of 4/11 as he can cover for Glen Johnson. However if Jones is to miss out then another centre-back will be needed.

John Stones, at 3/1, is the next best priced centre-back in the betting although the 4/1 on Steven Caulker, who unlike the Everton man has a cap to his name, isn’t too much of an outlandish option.

However, it could be that, in desperate times, desperate measures are taken.

John Terry is 8/1 to be talked out of retirement to play for his country at yet another major tournament.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.