England World Cup 2022 Squad Odds: Potential replacements for injured Kyle Walker
With just six weeks to go until England kick-off their 2022 World Cup campaign against Iran, players will be looking to hit peak performance at club level. However, suffering a cruel, untimely injury in the build-up will always be in the back of their minds.
Unfortunately, the England camp has been rocked this week by the news that mainstay defender Kyle Walker has had surgery on a groin injury, which has put his participation in Qatar in doubt.
Should he miss out, it would be a real blow given his experience, nous, quality, and of course his blistering pace. After all, this is a player who can play right-back or part of a back three, he’s accumulated 70 caps for his country and played a pivotal role in England’s surge to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final: he was named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament for the latter.
At this moment in time we’re all fingers crossed for Walker, who has now drifted to Evens in the England World Cup Squad Odds. Below we look at some potential replacements should the Man City man not recover in time…
It will be interesting to see whether Southgate opts for a back four or a back three at the World Cup. In truth, he’s highly likely to use both, based on England’s opponents. For example, he may use a back four in the World Cup Groups, but then opt for a back three when they play the big guns in the knockout stages...should they make it out of Group B that is...
One player who can play centre-back or right-back is the versatile Ben White who has been the big mover in the betting market after his odds were sliced from 9/4 into Evens.
White has enjoyed a fine start to the season with Arsenal, who not only top the table but have the second-best defensive record so far this season, and was unfortunate to miss out on the last squad.
The defender previously replaced the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in England’s Euro 2020 squad, although he didn’t play any minutes in the tournament.
Fikayo Tomori may have been called up for England’s most recent fixtures against Italy and Germany, however he was not used by Southgate, a decision which surprised many. The AC Milan defender was even money to make it on the plane to Qatar, however the news of Walker’s injury have seen bet365 cut his price to 4/9.
Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), and Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace) were all called up to the recent squad, and will now all be eyeing up a prized place in the World Cup squad. Coady and Dier are both odds-on, while Marc Guehi is a best-priced 6/4 with Boylesports.
Leicester’s James Justin is a 10/1 outsider, as are Ryan Sessegnon and Tryone Mings, with Joe Gomez (14/1), Ben Johnson and Tyrick Mitchell (both 16/1), and James Tarkowski (25/1) all further back in the betting.
One player who could be worth keeping an eye on is Chris Smalling out at 20/1. Without an England cap since 2017, the former Man Utd defender is surprisingly never mentioned as a possible contender, despite his continued impressive displays for Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
Elsewhere, Newcastle continue to impress at the back under Eddie Howe, with Dan Burn a 33/1 long shot to force his way into international contention.
When it comes to who could start for England in the World Cup should Walker not make it - providing Southgate opts for a back three - is placing Reece James at the back - a role he’s played for Chelsea - which could possibly bring Trent Alexander-Arnold back into the mix as a right-wing back.
Check out the odds below to see who is in the frame to start England’s opener against Iran on Monday 21st November (1pm).