England are our NetBet second favourites to win Euro 2020, coming in at a relatively short price of 5/1 just behind world champions, France. Gareth Southgate named his squad this week, with no real surprise inclusions as he looks to build on a pretty impressive World Cup campaign that saw the Three Lions reach the semi-finals in Russia. Harry Kane was top scorer at the tournament back then, and if he brings his shooting boots around Europe this summer, he could really make a name for himself in English football history, and potentially impress potential suitors now that he and Tottenham appear to have severed ties. There aren’t any games in this group that stand out as particularly challenging for Southgate’s men, even considering Croatia beat them to earn a final spot in 2018. A good opening day result against their rivals would set the English up for a solid run at first place, with Scotland and the Czech Republic certainly no slouches, but also not the imposing fourth seeds that Switzerland, Russia and Slovakia are.
Scotland will be looking to stifle England’s creative players and make the second match of the campaign quite cagey, especially considering the local rivalry. The match will take place at Wembley Stadium in London, and luckily for Southgate’s side not Hampden Park, where it could have ended up which would have changed the complexity of the game.
Gareth Southgate has opted to call up four right backs for the tournament, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James all making the cut for the final 26-man squad. Defending his decision, Southgate said: “What I would say is you’re looking at four right-backs, and I know people feel I have an obsession with right-backs, I just see four good footballers.
“Trippier can play right-back or left-back, Trent can play right-back, wing-back, I think he can play midfield. In the last few days I’ve seen Reece James play right of a back-three, at wing-back and in the middle of midfield.
“We’re going to a tournament and those sorts of flexible players that can fulfil different roles but good footballers are going to be hugely important to us.
“We really don’t know how the next few weeks are going to play out in terms of availability, injuries, what our best systems will be with the people we’ve got available, we’ve got too many question marks as I sit here today but that will all become far clearer.”
This could definitely be a breakout tournament for West Ham youngster Declan Rice. The 22-year-old made the impossibly difficult and controversial decision to switch allegiances from the Republic of Ireland to his country of birth England, despite having played for the Boys in Green all the way up, and earning some friendly caps. But it’s undoubtedly been the correct choice, and he could light up the centre of the park for his country should he be given the opportunity in the right system. England will likely line out with a 3-4-3 formation, looking to work their wing backs up and down the flank, but depending on the opposition that could become a 3-4-1-2, 3-5-2 or even 3-4-2-1. It’s a very attacking set-up that will rely on a strong set of performances from the front three, and it of course all relies on the goal scoring abilities of Kane and whomever joins him up top, be it Raheem Sterling or Phil Foden. Sterling definitely suits a gameplan like this, but would need to have done a lot of work on his finishing and distribution to earn the trust of the manager.
The ultimate question fans will be asking is ‘can England win the Euros?’ We don’t know if that’s going to happen, but there’s definitely a good chance they qualify for the final, and we’re confident they’ll get out of the groups at the very least. It would be a phenomenal feat to win the first major trophy in over five decades on home soil, and ideally that will happen and this group of players will go down in history.
England Squad for Euro 2020:
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Sam Johnstone (West Brom).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham).
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund).