England will desperately miss defender Rio Ferdinand in their campaign to win Euro 2012 this summer.
England will square off against France in a clash of two international football powerhouses on Monday in Donetsk (11:45 AM ET, ESPN). Sweden and Ukraine are the other two teams in Group D.
England coach Roy Hodgson made the decision to take John Terry instead of Ferdinand, which has caused some controversy and led Ferdinand to believe that his days with the England National Team are numbered, according to The Guardian.
Unfortunately for the Three Lions' chances at Euro 2012, Ferdinand will be an afterthought. The 33-year-old defender used to be a mainstay in England's back line, but will now have to watch and support his country from home.
That lack of consistency in front of goalkeeper Joe Hart will surely come back to haunt the English, as they are forced to control a high-octane offensive attack from the French in their opening match.
France's Franck Ribery will push the tempo on the ball every chance he gets, so England will be tested in the final third early on in Group Stage play.
Ferdinand's absence will certainly be felt throughout this summer's tournament, though, even if England can advance to the Quarterfinals. The offenses will only get better and the talent level of the opposing strikers and forwards will only improve.
Although England has yet to play a single match in this summer's European tournament, we can say that Hodgson has already made a catastrophic mistake by leaving Ferdinand out of the squad.
Sure, Terry brings a better scoring presence to the back line for set pieces and potential penalty kick situations, but Ferdinand is an elite center-back, who would provide much-needed stability on England's back line as they face off against Europe's finest.
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