Countdown to Euro 2020: 18 days to go
The likes of Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire, Nick Pope and Kalvin Phillips are all to be assessed over the coming days, with Southgate set to therefore wait until 1 June before naming his final 26.
There remains intense speculation as to whether Liverpool’s creative king Trent Alexander-Arnold will make the cut for Southgate, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James all vying for right-back berths in the squad, while there is also still a decision or two to be made in attack, too.
Harry Kane will of course spearhead the front line, but there may yet be a surprise with his back-up in the centre or the names picked to offer support from wide areas – a few players will inevitably end up disappointed.
So far, Euro 2020 squad announcements have been extremely varied, from Germany handing recalls to two veterans, to Spain naming fewer than 26 and Wales opting for the provisional squad route, as Southgate is expected to do.
Tuesday marks his turn to make the call on who, initially at least, will form the basis of the squad which an entire nation hopes can go all the way this summer.
GERMANY CONFIRM FLICK
Jogi Low is stepping down as manager of the German national team after Euro 2020.
And Die Mannschaft have just confirmed that his replacement will be outgoing Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 10:08
The Liverpool right-back comes with an element of risk, writes Tony Evans. And he should 100 per cent be going to Euro 2020 anyway – or indeed precisely because of that.
Gareth Southgate has a host of high quality options to pick from at right-back but the Reds defender remains a rare difference-maker from the position and should be in the squad
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:57
BEN WHITE TO GET THE NOD?
Reports this morning from Andy Naylor of the Athletic suggest Ben White is about to be one beneficiary of the bigger initial squad. Remains to be seen if he’s part of the 26 or a standby option eventually.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:47
WHERE WILL THE GOALS COME FROM?
Yes, we know Harry Kane – he has 34 at international level and must be aiming to repeat his World Cup efforts this summer, when he ended as top scorer.
But after that, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are the only members of the squad to have double figures at senior international level, with 14 and 11 goals respectively.
Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, Mount, and Foden might all offer ammunition too, but none have reached the five-goal mini-milestone as yet.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:31
Which quartet – or perhaps more? – would you prefer to see go?
John Stones has had a great season but the likes of Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings and Eric Dier have been involved throughout this campaign under Southgate.
Add in Maguire, who will definitely go if fit, and Michael Keane who has been in and around the squad, and there are plenty of senior names – even without considering talented youngsters and injured stars like Joe Gomez who won’t get the call.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:28
WHO SHOULD GO AS RIGHT-BACK?
The biggest issue is unquestionably that of right-back. At least four candidates present themselves and it might have been more had James Justin not taken a season-ending injury after an exceptional campaign of his own.
Here’s a statistical breakdown of how the options compare…and who the boss should perhaps be considering taking in his final squad.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:10
Worth remembering that England’s warm-up games ahead of the Euros will be against Austria and Romania.
Both games are at the Riverside Stadium and both will have fans in attendance!
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 09:00
The boss is bullish on Three Lions’ chances
Southgate himself isn’t holding back in the build-up to the tournament: he wants his players to go in with an air of expectation and a dream of success.
“I said ahead of the World Cup in Russia we wanted the country to have pride in the team, and I think we achieved that,” he said.
“Some of that is about results, and some of that is about the way the team connect with the fans.
“And of course now we’ve been to two semi-finals and we are as keen as everybody else to go further.
“So we understand expectations change, and we shouldn’t be afraid of saying we want to go and win.
“We know there’s some improvement for us to do, we’ve started to beat some of the top teams over the last couple of years. We have to do that consistently.
“And if we’re to win this tournament, the way the draw looks, we would have to do that on two or three occasions.”
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 08:52
Who will make the England squad?
It’s a tricky call for Southgate, but he has to leave some players out – some of which might feel they have had good seasons.
Mark Critchley has put on his waistcoat and best furrowed-brow expression and come up with the 26 he thinks will eventually form the squad for Euro 2020.
Surprises? Perhaps one or two: a goalkeeper, for instance. Who makes the cut at right-back? Does Jack Grealish go? And exactly who will the centre-backs be? Find out here.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 08:50
When is the England squad announcement?
Let’s get straight to the point of precisely when we need to ramp up the excitement: the press conference starts from 1pm.
Details of that announcement, squad list rules and all the rest of the information you need to know is right here.
Karl Matchett25 May 2021 08:33