All-star line-up for Euro 2016 injured XI
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 26, 2016
With Euro 2016 ever-nearing, fans and players alike can already feel the tension and apprehension ahead of what promises to be a thrilling tournament in France.
However, for some, they either miss out due to not being picked or in this case were not fit in time. So, read on to find out who made it into Coral’s all-star injured XI…
Goalkeeper: Jack Butland (England)
Young Three Lions goalie Butland will have been gutted to miss out on the finals, especially as many had tipped the Stoke City stopper to beat Joe Hart to the number one spot after some fine form this season.
However, the 23-year-old suffered an ankle fracture while playing for England in the memorable 3-2 away victory over world champions Germany.
Right back: Vilmos Vanczak (Hungary)
Versatile defender Vanczak is by far the least well-known player in this team but, with 80 caps for Hungary and over 250 appearances for Swiss Super League side Sion, is one of the more experienced.
Former footballing giants Hungary just scraped through the play-offs to qualify for the finals, and are 11/8 to qualify from Group F.
Centre back: Vincent Kompany (Belgium)
Belgium may be the number one FIFA-ranked team, but they’ll be without their captain Kompany for the finals, after he suffered yet another setback this season, despite attempting to prove his fitness a few times.
It could be a blessing in disguise, however, as it may mean that Tottenham duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld can start together at the back, after forming a terrific partnership in the Premier League.
Centre back: Raphael Varane (France)
France had already suffered the loss of highly promising uncapped centre back Aymeric Laporte, and were hit once again with news that fellow young-gun Varane would miss the finals due to picking up a thigh injury.
While only out for around three weeks, Didier Deschamps decided against taking the risk and instead called up Sevilla’s Adil Rami as his replacement. With Les Bleus missing stars at the back, back their Group A at 4/1 to be the highest scoring pool.
Left back: Fabio Coentrao (Portugal)
Completing the back four is The Navigator’s Coentrao, who will not be making the trip to France either.
The Real Madrid star, on loan at Monaco last term, may not play to his best for his parent club, but tends to up his game for Portugal and will be sorely missed.
Right wing: Alan Dzagoev (Russia)
Judging by Russia’s Euro 2016 preliminary squad and recent call-ups, they don’t have many up-and-coming players, but 25-year-old Dzagoev, who was joint-top scorer at Euro 2012, will no doubt be a big part of their future.
The attacker will play no part in France, though, after breaking his foot during a league match for CSKA Moscow against Rubin Kazan that clinched the Russian title.
Centre midfield: Marco Verratti (Italy)
Another highly talented youngster will be missed by his nation, with Italy playmaker Verratti needing surgery on a groin injury suffered in February.
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has made the somewhat strange decision to leave out talisman Andrea Pirlo too, so will the Azzurri be able to cope without two key players in the heart of the pitch?
Centre midfield: Ilkay Gundogan (Germany)
Gundogan has had no real luck with injuries throughout his career to date, as he missed a whole year of football action in 2013/14 due to a spinal issue and will now be out until at least September with a dislocated kneecap.
There is no doubt the 25-year-old German has talent, and will we see him in the Premier League next season, if reported suitors Manchester City take their chances?
Left wing: Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland)
Northern Ireland don’t have many names playing top-flight football, but Brunt has for much of his career and Norn Iron will certainly not have enjoyed the news back in March when it was confirmed he’d be out for six months.
You can back Michael O’Neill’s men at 12/5 to qualify from a difficult Group C, that includes Germany, Poland and Ukraine.
Striker: Danny Welbeck (England)
The loss of Welbeck didn’t devastate many England fans, as Roy Hodgson already has a wealth of talent up front to pick from and the Arsenal attacker has played little game time this season anyway.
However, Welbeck, who injured his knee, does has a habit of scoring crucial goals, so will the Three Lions miss that?
Striker: Josip Drmic (Switzerland)
Partnering Welbeck up top in our injured XI is 23-year-old Swiss star Drmic, who also suffered a serious knee injury.
The Borussia Monchengladbach-owned striekr, on loan at Hamburg, helped La Nati with three goals in qualifying, but they’ll have to make do with the likes of Eren Derdiyok, Admir Mehmedi, Haris Seferovic and Breel Embolo instead.