Some Experts Actually Rate England’s Chances
A few days ago, someone somewhere seemingly lost their mind, deciding to make Gareth Southgate’s England team favourites to win this summer’s Euro 2020.
It’s unclear how Harry Kane being injured and Jordan Pickford auditioning to be the next David James has compelled the so-called experts to come to this conclusion, but at least it makes for some fun discussions down the pub with the eternal dreamers that are Three Lions fans.
Who Will Make the Squad?
The way the football industry works these days, it’s more than likely that this bold prediction was arrived at after plugging some stats into a footy supercomputer.
And the same must be happening in regards to Leicester City’s flying winger Harvey Barnes, whose odds of making Southgate’s squad have been slashed following his recent good performances for the Foxes.
He’ll have stiff competition to actually start from the likes of Jadon Sancho, who’s already odds-on to be going on the Euro 2020 roadshow.
Indeed, it’s in the middle of midfield where the bulk of the competition for places will rage, with Jack Grealish, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley, to name but a few, all hoping for call-ups.
However, with Kane missing, it’s the lack of a leader anywhere on the pitch that should make those looking to back England slightly wary. Who will pull them together when they go behind to this summer’s version of Iceland and start running out of ideas?
What’s Bound to go Wrong?
Whether it’s the spectra of penalties, relentless abuse from their loyal press machine or the knowledge they’ve won nowt since 66, the pressure always tends to get to England.
It’s hard to see how a final at their spiritual home will in any way subdue that pressure. With the country expecting now more than ever after recent happenings away from football, it’s unlikely that Southgate will find a way to sufficiently inoculate his charges from this virulent English strain of self-destruction inducing tension.
Why the Experts Could be Right!
England did defy the bookmakers at the 2018 World Cup, with most having them priced as 16/1 outsiders before a ball was kicked.
Although they fell at the semi-final stages, Southgate’s charges proved they do know how to navigate a major tournament draw. Then there’s the state of the Premier League to consider this season.
With Liverpool having a lock on the title and most Champions League spots virtually decided, important players like Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson should all get the rest they require prior to the tournament kicking off.