With a few weeks to go until we start, England are the joint favourites to lift the European Championship trophy this summer, and it’s not tough to see why.1) Home Advantage
Should England make it all the way to the final by topping their group, they will play all but one match of the tournament at Wembley. Barring a few friendly defeats as well as a couple UEFA Nations League losses, England’s last home defeat in a competitive match (again, Nations League doesn’t count) was back in 2007, when they failed to even qualify. Fortress Wembley, with fans finally back in the grounds, will be a tough place for any side to come to
The 27 year old England captain has truly been phenomenal since he turned 20, consistently scoring 20+ goals per season for Spurs. Whilst his time at Tottenham may be coming to an end, its certainly not through his lack of ability, but rather, he is reaching his prime and wants to win trophies. He was the top scorer in the EUROs 5 years ago, and the top scorer in EURO qualifiers too, netting 12 goals in 8 games. He has scored in each of the two World Cup qualifiers England have played in so far too.
England fans will lament the way they never picked up any trophies during the ‘Golden Generation Era’ in the early to mid 2000s; in fact, they never went past the quarter final stage, and it all came down to a crashing halt with the failure to qualify for EURO 2008. There has been a lull in the last decade, but there’s a new sensation about the current batch of players through. In 2017, England U21s reached the semi finals of the U21 Euros (naturally, they were knocked out by eventual champions Germany on penalties), but they also won the U19 Euros and the U20 World Cup that year. Young players like Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Declan Rice and Jaydon Sancho have had terrific seasons domestically and could set this tournament alight.
Few nations have as devastating an attacking side as England has, and whilst the backline are pretty decent too, the position of goalkeeper is their greatest concern. The likelihood is that Everton’s Jordan Pickford will start, but the stopper with notoriously short arms is rather mistake prone (Since 2016, no goalkeeper has more ‘mistakes leading to goals’ in the EPL than Pickford). Behind him, you have Dean Henderson, Man Utd’s number 2 goalkeeper with only 11 starts this season, and Nick Pope, a very good goalkeeper for a Burnley side who finished just one place above the relegation zone.
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