The European Championships are edging closer and England once again finds itself as one of the favorites for the tournament. With 1966 being the Three Lions’ last major tournament success, this current crop of English players has the quality to end the wait for a celebration.
Lessons Learned From Russia
Manager Gareth Southgate managed to lead England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia back in 2018, only to fall short against Croatia. While many would have hoped, few would have expected the Three Lions to reach the final in Moscow, and the fact they came so close speaks volumes of the quality in the squad.
Following their efforts in Russia, there are more expectations of what England can achieve at Euro 2020. This is evident in the Three Lions being one of the joint-favorites at 11/2 with bet365 in the international football betting to win the tournament. Belgium and France also find themselves on the same odds to go all the way and lift the trophy this summer.
English Stars Finding Form
The 12-month delay of the tournament has allowed some key players to return from injury, and start to find some form ahead of the competition. Captain and star striker Harry Kane was a doubt for the tournament last summer due to injury, but now fully fit, he already has 13 goals in 21 Premier League games this season.
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin was not mentioned in the reckoning for a place in the England squad last summer, but now the Everton forward is firmly in the frame. With 13 goals from his first 20 league appearances, the Toffees striker has enjoyed a fine 2020-21 season so far, and now Southgate has another option up front for the European Championships.
In defence, Manchester City centre-back John Stones has refound the form that earned him his first England cap back in 2014. Stones had been struggling last season, with injuries and inconsistency hampering his progress at the Etihad Stadium. However, the arrival of fellow defender Ruben Dias has sparked a revival in Stones, and now the 26-year-old is a sure starter for Southgate at present.
Foden Has Potential
Another star impressing at the Etihad, and one who could have a big impact in the summer, is City playmaker Phil Foden. The 20-year-old has dazzled in the Premier League this season, and is now earning regular starts under manager Pep Guardiola in the biggest games.
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Foden’s progress will delight Southgate, as he prepares to face Croatia, Czech Republic, and Scotland in the group stages this summer. England has the benefit of playing at Wembley for all of their pool games, and they look well-placed to go far in the tournament.
The ‘Golden Generation’ of Owen, Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham, and Terry came and went without a trophy. Perhaps at Euro 2020 the generation of Kane, Calvert-Lewin, Stones, and Foden can do what those before them could not.