Gareth Southgate has one of the best crop of young English talent the country has ever seen. Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020. Is this the best chance for England to win a trophy for the first time since the 1966 World Cup?
England reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup before a below par performance and semi-final loss to Croatia. The manager was tactically outclassed by his opposition but wasn’t helped by a defensive howler for the winning goal.
The team has picked up more experience since and other talented players have broken through. Can England go all the way this summer? Well, the bookmakers have England as the favourites in the Euro 2020 betting with odds of 5/1. France closely follow at 11/2 and then Belgium at 6/1.
Here’s who we believe would be England’s best starting XI to head into Euro 2020:
Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson
Gareth Southgate continues to stick by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford despite a number of mistakes at both club and international level. Dean Henderson has been starting for Manchester United in recent weeks, but will it be too late for the youngster to earn the number one spot this summer?
Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka
The England manager has a number of options to pick from at right-back. Historically, Kyle Walker has been Southgate’s first choice. Trent Alexander-Arnold has started to make the position his recently. But Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka would be the strongest defensively. However, he’s yet to decide whether he wants to play for England or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Centre-back: Harry Maguire
The position that England are very vulnerable at is the middle of the defence. Harry Maguire will start unless he gets injured, and whilst he’s a good leader, the Manchester United player is prone to errors. He is also very slow.
Centre-back: John Stones
John Stones had been poor for a number of seasons but has looked very good for the Premier League leaders this campaign. However, can he reproduce that form for England this summer without Ruben Dias alongside?
Left-back: Ben Chilwell
Luke Shaw is having a stellar season at Manchester United but Ben Chilwell offers better positioning defensively and also has a very good cross on him. The Chelsea defender already has more caps out of these two.
Holding midfielder: Declan Rice
If there’s any position weaker than centre-back it’s holding midfield. West Ham United’s Declan Rice earns this role by default as there really isn’t anything out there. The 22-year-old is good but how will he match up to the playmakers from France, Belgium and Spain this summer?
Central midfield: Jude Bellingham
Only 17 years old but one of the brightest sparks in an otherwise below par campaign from Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham showed composure with a fine opening goal versus Manchester City in the Champions League recently. He’s energetic, good at winning the ball back and can attack. Ideal for playing in the middle of the park. He’s ready for the Euros.
Central midfield: Mason Mount
A regular in Gareth Southgate’s midfield, Mason Mount can get the ball to the front three as well as score from long range himself.
Right forward: Phil Foden
One of the stars in Manchester City’s team, Phil Foden is capable of playing in a few positions but the right forward of a front three could be his best spot for England. The youngster has excellent skill, an eye for goal and creating opportunities. The latter is ideal when the striker he’ll be playing with scores for fun.
Striker: Harry Kane
Provided he’s fit Harry Kane is a natural goalscorer. Good with both feet and his head, the striker brings teammates into play, is a leader and is a lethal finisher.
Left forward: Raheem Sterling
Not having his best year with Manchester City, Raheem Sterling edges out Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho for the left forward role. Although he’s still only 26 years old he’s a very experienced player and leader in this team. Pace and an eye for goal, Sterling also has something to prove to the England national team this summer.