The Euro 2012 England squad predictor – 05/03/12

We're now just under three months from the start of Euro 2012, and England are still without a permanent manager or captain and face a very real possibility of going in to the tournament's first two matches without their first and second choice forwards. Oh, and there are also question marks over the fitness of their prodigious playmaker.

Still, we'll have a laugh, won't we? Right?

Here's how we see the state of the squad at present, whoever's picking it...

▲ = moving up
▼ = moving down
■  = non mover
●  = new entry

1 Wayne Rooney ▲
Coming into form nicely. Will b crucial, despite missing the first two matches.

2 Joe Hart ▼
Lynchpin in goal. Key man, still pretty much unrivaled between the sticks.

3 Ashley Cole ■
Best tournament player: a must, despite patchy form at club level.

4 Scott Parker ■
The team’s insurance policy. A potential captain for the finals.

5 Steven Gerrard ■
Could be star man in Rooney’s absence, if he can stay fit.

6 James Milner ▲
A man for all positions. Will the new manager favour him as Capello did?

7 Joleon Lescott ▲
Could secure a starting place if Terry or Ferdinand are left out.

8 Danny Welbeck ▲
Looks increasingly like a starter, especially with Bent now injured.

9 Daniel Sturridge ▲
Battling Walcott for wing berth. Staying in Chelsea side crucial.

10 Leighton Baines ■
Capable but untested. Most logical back up to Cole.

11 Gareth Barry ▼
Another steady season, though Fabio’s departure may hurt him.

12 Chris Smalling ●
Could usurp underplayed Cahill. He'll need games at club level, though.

13 Theo Walcott ▼
Still consistently inconsistent, but this has been perhaps his best season.

14 Frank Lampard ▲
Will be an asset from the bench. Evidently Villas-Boas agrees...

15 Kyle Walker ●
Pushes ahead of Glen Johnson

16 Phil Jones ▲
Could be main beneficiary if the new manager opts for youth.

17 Ashley Young ■
Injury hasn’t affected his form

18 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ●
Makes things happen; starting to look genuinely exciting. Needs games.

19 Jack Wilshere ▼
Injury delay means he could now be seen as a gamble.

20 Darren Bent ▲
Stagnating at Villa but one of few out-and-out strikers

21 Scott Carson ▼
A concern if he has to play, but there are few options available.

22 Robert Green ●
Playing in the Championship is better than not playing in the Prem (see Stockdale, D)

23 John Terry ▼
Bye-bye Capello, ta-ra Terry?

Close contenders

Micah Richards started against Holland, and his versatility may stand him in good stead. Yet Kyle Walker - who pulled out of that game injured - is still probably just ahead of him at this stage. Stewart Downing was one of England's better performers in that friendly defeat, but his inconsistent form for Liverpool could yet see him lose out. Michael Carrick wasn't involved in that friendly, but his form for Manchester United has certainly been good enough to put him in contention. This Redknapp old-boy could benefit if Jack Wilshere doesn't make it.

Manchester City's Adam Johnson and Manchester United's Tom Cleverley will both be in contention, but will need to be fit, firing and playing regularly for their clubs to get the nod.

Bubbling under

Jermain Defoe's form for Tottenham this season has been reasonable, but he hasn't been able to force his way into the team regularly enough to keep his England squad place. Rio Ferdinand's impressive performance for Manchester United at White Hart Lane was a reminder that he can still cut the mustard. Everton's Phil Jagielka hasn't played since January and will need to find momentum quickly upon his return.

Outside chance

With Rooney suspended and Bent potentially injured, there have been a few shouts for new names in the striking department. The campaign for Norwich's Grant Holt to be included has continued on Twitter, but Swansea's Danny Graham is perhaps a more likely 'shock' inclusion. If the man Redknapp gets the gig, it's not inconceivable Peter Crouch could be back in the frame, but we suspect Fraizer Campbell may not be invited back.

The Euro 2012 England squad predictor: January, February