After being postponed last summer due to the pandemic, the 2020 European Championship will begin on June 11th. Manager Gareth Southgate has announced his 33-man provisional England squad. As a result, there is much to analyze. So, let’s get into it.
Provisional England Squad
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Man Utd), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheff Utd)
Defenders: John Stones (Man City), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Man City), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Reece James (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Ben Godfrey (Everton), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Ben White (Brighton)
Midfielders: Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
England Squad Analysis
The Three Lions first match is on June 13, and there are many injury concerns. For instance, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, and Manchester United captain Harry Maguire both remain out. Maguire was unable to play in United’s recent Europa League Final loss to Villarreal. In addition, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips have injury concerns heading into the summer.
Southgate will be hoping there are no more injuries this weekend because Chelsea and Manchester City face-off in the Champions League Final on Saturday. The match which will likely feature Mount, James, Chilwell, Foden, Walker, and Stones.
International teams are often stacked in a particular position, and for England, that position is right-back. In just this squad there are four abled right-backs: Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Reece James. Manchester United’s starting right-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, isn’t even included in the squad.
Luckily for Southgate, these four right-backs are very flexible. Trippier can play on either side, Walker and James can slide into the right-sided center-back, and Alexander-Arnold can move into a more attacking role.
Predicted Starting XI for England v Croatia
For my predicted starting XI, I am assuming that all injured players will be fit in time for the match against Croatia. I will be using a 4-3-3 formation.
Jordan Pickford – Even with his struggles recently, Southgate still views him as his number one option.
Kyle Walker – Walker is the most experienced out of the four right-backs and will likely get the nod against Croatia.
Harry Maguire – Should he be fit, Maguire is the anchor of the Three Lions defense.
John Stones – After a big performance in the World Cup in Russia, he struggled for playing time. He has reemerged as a world-class center-back with his stellar season in Manchester.
Luke Shaw – Ben Chilwell has been the first-choice left-back recently, but Shaw’s amazing season for Manchester United should earn him a starting spot.
Declan Rice – Far and away the best holding midfielder on the team.
Jordan Henderson – Henderson’s experience and leadership will help him nab a starting spot if he is fit.
Mason Mount – Chelsea’s Player of the Season will undoubtedly be a focal point in Southgate’s schemes.
Phil Foden – The 21-year-old has overtaken Raheem Sterling in the Starting XI for Manchester CIty and will likely do the same for England.
Harry Kane – The England captain had one of the best seasons of his career, winning the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker of the Season Award.
Marcus Rashford – Rashford’s willingness to run in behind makes him a perfect match for Foden and Kane up top.
My Predicted Starting XI vs Croatia: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Mount; Foden, Kane, Rashford.
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