Football betting fans could be tempted to put money on Iceland’s youngsters to pull off a shock result against England’s U-21 side after manager Stuart Pearce allowed a number of players to return to their clubs.
The former Man City boss has released Sunderland pair Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck – both of whom were on target in the 4-0 win over Denmark last week – plus Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Bolton Wanderers duo Fabrice Muamba and Daniel Sturridge.
Bristol City defender Steven Caulker and Jonny Howson of Leeds United will also be allowed to go back to their clubs due to injuries, while Jordan Spence of West Ham, a defender on loan at Bristol City, has been called up in place of Micah Richards.
The Man City full-back, named skipper by Pearce after missing out on a call-up to the senior squad, was carried off on a stretcher during the victory over the Danes with a hamstring problem which could keep him out of action for up to a month.
Assistant coach Steve Wigley said: “There are some players that played last night that won’t play on Monday night.”
With a more experimental team expected to be named by Pearce, England’s youngsters could find it a tough test against Iceland U-21s and may not represent value at their betting odds of 2/5.
Despite this, England are the 17/4 second favourites in the early prices for the U-21 European Championships which are taking place this summer, behind Spain (5/2).
Pearce has indicated that he is intending to pick Premier League stars such as Jack Wilshere in his squad, even though the Arsenal midfielder started for the senior side yesterday in a 2-0 win over Wales.
A successful £10 bet at bwin.com would return £52.50 if Pearce leads his team to glory in the summer. New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet.