European Soccer

European powers forced to alter rosters ahead of Euro 2012 qualifiers



Spain, Italy and England all figure to qualify for the 2012 European Championship without a problem, but the traditional powers will all have to adjust to some major roster changes for the upcoming stretch of qualifiers.

Defending European and World Cup champion Spain's roster has been altered the most. With Cesc Fabregas and Xavi already ruled out for the games against Scotland and Lithuania, star striker Fernando Torres became the latest to pull out of the matches after injuring his groin in Liverpool's shock loss to Blackpool over the weekend.

Jesus Navas and Pedro also pulled out of the squad with injuries, leading coach Vicente del Bosque to call in four national-team first-timers: Valencia's Aritz Aduriz and Pablo Hernandez and Villarreal's Borja Valero and Bruno Soriano.

Italy, meanwhile, has also been hit hard by the injury bug. Striker Alberto Gilardino and fullback Luca Antonelli will miss the Azzurri's qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Serbia with their respective ailments.

Manager Cesare Prandelli has yet to call up their replacements, but might be forced to make a tactical adjustment as well, considering he's also due to be without the injured Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo.

Finally, England manager Fabio Capello has called in the uncapped Kevin Davies to help augment his striker selection for the Three Lions' match against currently unbeaten Montenegro.

With injuries to Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora and Gabriel Agbonlahor, and Wayne Rooney available but still on the mend with an ankle knock, Davies earned the call with his strong start to the Premier League campaign with Bolton.


Do you see any of these three sides slipping up in their qualifiers this week? Which team do you think will be affected the most by the roster changes?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Brad Smith

    How many qualifiers do we really need? While I love the upcoming Euro Championship, these qualifiers (in addition to the World Cup qualifiers) are useless during the club season. There has to be a better way than playing qualifying games for 3 years straight. No wonder there are so many injuries, and clubs struggle so much during the season. Torres hasn’t been himself now for almost a full year. Spain’s run the past 4 years from the Euro win until now has been non-stop. England is already bad enough and now they’ll be missing it’s best attacking players.


  • maka

    kevin davies? the old fart from bolton?

    LD/Clint/Jermaine Jones should be fine in 4 years…


  • David

    I just keep wondering how much Liverpool wishes they had sold Torres this summer. At least last year he was in top form despite being injured half the time. Now he is in horrible form, uninterested, and injured. He is practicially worthless if they try to sell him now.


  • DC Josh

    Overlooking promising youth like Carroll while bringing in uncapped 33 year old’s. Capello has fallen off his horse. I doubt Kevin Davies will see the field. It is at least a good story that he might get his first cap IF he gets on the pitch. They will still see through both qualifiers. Italy is not looking good and could drop serious points.


  • Frank

    Or you could just reduce the number of teams in the EPL and get rid of pointless exhibition matches in the US…


  • zion

    Davies haha. Called up at 33.

    why not bring in Derbyshire or Carroll? At least they are young


  • zion

    Torres is coming back from intense injuries. He fits naturally in the PL but has loads of injuries over the last 3 years. It’s hampered him.

    18 goals in 22 league matches. that says something.

    he’ll return to form. 1 of the best strikers in England, no doubt


  • Big Smoke

    Is that a joke? If so, it’s a decent one. If not, that ship has sailed because of FIFA regulations. I’m betting on it being a joke.


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