EURO 2020 inside track: England
Tuesday, 8 June 2021
UEFA.com's England reporter Simon Hart wonders whether the Three Lions will roar at Wembley.
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Group D fixtures
13/06: England 1-0 Croatia (London)
18/06: England vs Scotland (London)
22/06: Czech Republic vs England (London)
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Captain: Harry Kane
Nickname: Three Lions
How they qualified: Group A winners (W7 D0 L1 F37 A6)
EURO best: Semi-finals (1968, 1996)
Where they could play their knockout games
Round of 16: London, Copenhagen, Seville, Glasgow or Budapest
Quarter-final: Saint Petersburg, Munich, Rome or Baku
Final 26-man squad
Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atlético), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Brighton)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Dortmund), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
UEFA.com England team reporter: Simon Hart
This is my sixth EURO which means that when I flew off to my first – spent in Rotterdam in summer 2000 – Phil Foden was barely a week old. My favourite European Championship match came on a Lisbon night in 2004 when England and Portugal played out a classic 2-2 quarter-final draw layered with colour and drama and culminating in … well, England fans know the rest.
How they play
After going all the way to the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals with a 3-5-2 set-up, England played a 4-3-3 when reaching the UEFA Nations League finals the following summer. Yet the question mark over the fitness of Harry Maguire – already ruled out for the opening group fixture – has led to talk that Southgate could potentially revert to a back three.
Key Player: Harry Kane
The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner ended the domestic season with the Premier League equivalent for his 23 goals for Tottenham. The fact he also had 14 assists highlights his ability to drop deep and create. However, where England will want their leading centre-forward is in the opposition penalty box.
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Southgate’s success in lightening the mood around the national team brought England’s best World Cup performance since 1990 in Russia. He shows no fear in giving youngsters chances and has been rewarded, more often than not, with fearless displays. Expect his semi-final missed penalty at EURO '96 to feature strongly in the narrative should England travel far in this competition, 25 years on.
One to watch: Jack Grealish
England’s crop of young talents is such that there are several candidates here, from 17-year-old Jude Bellingham – described as "phenomenal" by Southgate when announcing his squad – to Kane's understudy, Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Yet for his rare ability to carry the ball (with its echoes of Paul Gascoigne), Aston Villa's Jack Grealish has the potential to be a real fan favourite.
Can they win it?
Wembley was the stage when England won their only previous major honour in 1966 and again when they reached the semi-finals of EURO '96. England have the Wembley factor once more and there is understandable optimism that Southgate's youthful squad has the attacking power to win this EURO, though only time will tell if they are strong enough further back.