Will England win Euro 2020? Southgate’s men joint favourites for glory this summer
With the Euro 2020 delayed by a year, the English team will go into the continent’s premier football contest in June feeling that this could be their best chance to win their first major international tournament since 1966 – the time they won the World Cup.
Gareth Southgate’s men made mincemeat of opponents in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, winning seven out of eight outings and hammering in as many as thirty-seven goals in the run-up to the finals next month.
The Three Lions have been clustered in Group D with Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic in the preliminary round. England’s recent performances against Croatia and Czech Republic have been mixed. Southgate’s men were unlucky to have lost to the Croats 1-2 in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World – a match they went into as favourites although they did redeem themselves by beating the World Cup runners-up by a similar margin in a UEFA Nations League clash later in November that year.
As for the Czechs, England have played them twice in 2018 – winning a Wembley outing by a whopping 5-0 in a qualifier of the Euro 2020 but losing the return fixture away in Prague 1-2.
However, the Three Lions are expected to qualify if not win the Group. With the quality of young talent Southgate will have at his disposal, England can hope to go quite some way in the tournament. Playing five of the seven games, including the semi-final and final, at Wembley, England are not surprisingly the joint-favorites with France to take the Cup at odds of 5/1.
With the 23-man English squad scheduled to be announced at the end of the Premier League season in May, there’s very little time for those wanting to impress and get their names on the list.
If Southgate were to employ his customary 3-4-3 formation, the likes of Liverpool’s enterprising wing-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker could all feature with the goalkeeper’s slot a toss between Everton’s Jordan Pickford and United’s Dean Henderson.
The push for a midfield start will be frenetic with the brilliantly talented 17-year-old Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund knocking hard on the doors of selectors after his eye-catching performance against Manchester City in the Champions League.
Others like Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, and the attack-minded Mason Mount could crowd the space.
As for the attack, the selection of the ever-dependable and prolific Harry Kane is a no-brainer. The ace Tottenham striker could lead the charge alongside Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Dortmund’s Jordan Sancho and Villa’s Jack Grealish.
Whatever XI Southgate may come up with, it will surely make any opposition sit up and be wary at the utmost.
But however gung-ho the bookmakers may feel about England’s prospects, bettors could ignore the absolutely fantastic Belgians, World Champions France, the Iberian power-houses of Spain and Portugal, past masters of international football Germany, Italy and Netherlands at their own peril.
Latest Euro 2020 Odds
- England – 5/1
- France – 5/1
- Belgium – 6/1
- Germany – 7/1
- Spain – 8/1
- Portugal – 8/1
- Italy – 11/1
- Netherlands – 12/1
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