EURO 2020 – Group D: England
Group D has two clear favourites to proceed to the last 16 of the EURO21: England and Croatia. England’s first match is against Croatia, the team that ended their dreams to reach the final at the World Cup in 2018. The three lions must win, if they aim to qualify as the first of their group. Croatia showed in the past that they are one of the best teams in the world. They are definitely not in the competition just to take part, but to chase glory again.
Therefore, England’s first match is of vital importance. Five days later, the Three Lions will face Scotland, before hosting the Czech Republic on June 22 in Wembley. Two teams that are nowhere near to England’s quality but, nonetheless, dangerous opponents.
EnglandBest EURO result: Semi-finals (1996)
FIFA Ranking: 4
Average age: 24.8
Last 5 games: San Marino (5-0, WC qualifiers), Albania (2-0, WC qualifiers), Poland (2-1, WC qualifiers), Austria (1-0, friendlies), Romania (1-0, friendlies)
England EURO 2020 schedule13.06, 2pm: England vs Croatia
18.06, 8pm: England vs Scotland
22.06, 8pm: England vs Czech Republic
Gareth Southgate had set the bar high after England’s recent World Cup 2018 run. The supporters expect a similar or even better performance at the EURO’s. The English manager has the full support of their fans, a quality 26 –man squad and the tactical capabilities that can lead England to success. It includes a crop of young, talented players. Finding the balance between them and the experienced players will be key in this specific tournament for England.
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea),Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Brighton), Reece James (Chelsea), ), Conor Coady (Wolves).
Midfielders: Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Man City).
Coach: Garteh Southgate
Formation & Style of Play
Gareth Southgate has adapted an adjustable system. He shifted from a 3-1-4-2 at the World Cup in 2018 to a clear preference towards the 3-4-3 and 4-3-3.
Southgate will use a formation that best suits his squad. The fitness condition of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson will determine his decision. In case they are not fit enough, Southgate most probably will start with three at the defensive line.
This flexibility is a great strength for England to use at the EURO’s, with the ability to adjust formation and style of play depending on the opponent.
The players have all the characteristics that contribute to a modern world-class team. The centre backs know hot to organize the game and are able to beat the opponents pressing by keeping the ball down. The wing backs are fast and favour to look for the overlap. The quality in the midfield is undeniable. In the front, Harry Kane will always be an extraordinary finisher.
Southgate has been the manager of England the last 4 and a half years. He won the hearts of the nation with his team’s performance at the previous World Cup. Nonetheless, since then England’s play has generally deteriorated, it is fair to say that Southgate is under pressure going into the EURO’s.
Southgate has also represented the three lions as a player. He has 57 appearances to his name with the national team.
Some Interesting facts
-Twenty-five years ago, Gareth Southgate missed the penalty that sent England out of the EURO 96.
-England has not won a major international tournament since 1966.
-England is the second-youngest team in the competition (24.81 average age)
Players to watch
Key Player – Harry Kane
The betting companies consider Harry Kane as the favourite to be the top goal-scorer of the tournament. He has already had a major international individual award, as he was the top scorer of the World Cup 2018. The English striker has shown that he is among the best players in the world and only a few defenders can deal with him anywhere near the box. A tremendous finisher who sometimes needs only one opportunity to score. Harry numbers 34 goals in 54 caps for his country.
Youth Prospect – Phill Foden
Phil Foden is an excellent talent and already an important player for his Premier League side, Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has described him as the best talent he had seen at the age of 21 years. Foden is a technically charismatic player and has an all-around offensive ability. He may become one of the best players in the world in the near future.
Expectation and Prediction
All the stats indicate that England will make it through the group stage. The combination of the experienced players alongside with quality young talents can be a magical recipe for success. The amount of the squad talent makes the nation believe that England can qualify at least to the semi-finals again. Hence, if England does not show the suicidal trends of the past, is considered as a great contender for the trophy.
EURO 2020 on TVsportguide
Follow all the action from the EURO’s with our TVsportguide. All matches and information can be found here.