England Euro 2024 squad guide: Fixtures, predictions and best players

England Euro 2024 squad guide: Fixtures, predictions and best players
By: 90min.com Posted On: May 27, 2024 View: 74

Once again, England head into a major tournament with grand expectations.

However, while previous optimism was misguided, the Three Lions' current projections are justified. They may be yet to get over the line with Gareth Southgate at the helm but England have consistently impressed on the biggest stages.

Blessed with a litany of superstar talent and impressive squad harmony, some might regard anything but a maiden European Championship victory in Germany this summer as a disappointment.

Here's 90min's guide to England's squad for Euro 2024.

FBL-EURO-2020-2021-MATCH51-ITA-ENG

Rashford, Sterling and Sancho have all been left out of the squad / FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/GettyImages

England's Euro 2024 squad has not yet been finalised, although Southgate has named a 33-man training camp squad for their pre-tournament fixtures against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland.

The boss will then cut seven players from that list and name his final 26-man squad for the tournament.

Southgate has been criticised for perceived favouritism in the past but his latest squad has seen several members of the old guard left out. Marcus Rashford, Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson have played big roles in this England team under Southgate but none will be on the plane to Germany.

Raheem Sterling, who typically performs superbly at major tournaments, hasn't been able to work his way back into contention, while Jadon Sancho also wasn't called up despite his recent renaissance.

Crystal Palace's upsurge under Oliver Glasner has been reflected by the inclusion of four Eagles in the provisional squad. Adam Wharton was perhaps the most surprising addition, even though he's been brilliant since joining the club in January. Eberechi Eze will also be hoping to make the final squad.

In the absence of Phillips and Henderson, Southgate will likely turn to Conor Gallagher or young Kobbie Mainoo as his midfield balancer. Trent Alexander-Arnold has interestingly been listed as a midfielder on the squad list by the FA.

In defence, the inclusion of Jarell Quansah turned heads despite his stellar season with Liverpool. The centre-back's a strong contender to not make the final cut, as is Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite, who earned his first England call-up in March but didn't play a single minute. Starting left-back Luke Shaw faces a race against time to be fit for the tournament.

England's Euro 2024 training camp squad

Player

Position

Club

Dean Henderson

Goalkeeper

Crystal Palace

Jordan Pickford

Goalkeeper

Everton

Aaron Ramsdale

Goalkeeper

Arsenal

James Trafford

Goalkeeper

Burnley

Jarrad Branthwaite

Defender

Everton

Lewis Dunk

Defender

Brighton

Joe Gomez

Defender

Liverpool

Marc Guehi

Defender

Crystal Palace

Ezri Konsa

Defender

Aston Villa

Harry Magure

Defender

Man Utd

Jarell Quansah

Defender

Liverpool

Luke Shaw

Defender

Man Utd

John Stones

Defender

Man City

Kieran Trippier

Defender

Newcastle

Kyle Walker

Defender

Man City

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Midfielder

Liverpool

Jude Bellingham

Midfielder

Real Madrid

Conor Gallagher

Midfielder

Chelsea

Curtis Jones

Midfielder

Liverpool

Kobbie Mainoo

Midfielder

Man Utd

Declan Rice

Midfielder

Arsenal

Adam Wharton

Midfielder

Crystal Palace

Jarrod Bowen

Forward

West Ham

Eberechi Eze

Forward

Crystal Palace

Phil Foden

Forward

Man City

Anthony Gordon

Forward

Newcastle

Jack Grealish

Forward

Man City

Harry Kane

Forward

Bayern Munich

James Maddison

Forward

Tottenham

Cole Palmer

Forward

Chelsea

Bukayo Saka

Forward

Arsenal

Ivan Toney

Forward

Brentford

Ollie Watkins

Forward

Aston Villa

Luke Shaw

Shaw plays a key role for England / GES-Sportfoto/GettyImages

England have never been regarded as tactically supreme under Southgate, although international teams in general are wildly inferior in this regard compared to elite club sides.

Managers simply don't have enough time with their players to instil the sophisticated principles seen ubiquitously at club level.

Thus, balance, relationships and familiarity are important on the international stage. England's team has changed considerably from the 2018 World Cup, where Southgate deployed a 5-3-2 formation, but there won't be too much upheaval at Euro 2024 compared to the two most recent major tournaments.

Southgate's England will likely line up in a 4-2-3-1, although the potential absence of Shaw could greatly hinder their dynamics. Shaw plays a crucial role down the left, with his upfield surges allowing the left winger to drift inside and occupy more central spaces. Shaw's absence could negatively impact Phil Foden should Southgate choose to deploy him wide left. Bukayo Saka will be tasked with hugging the touchline on the opposite flank with right-back Kyle Walker rarely venturing forward to provide balance.

If Jude Bellingham is utilised as a number 10, expect to see plenty of rotation between him and leading man Harry Kane given the latter's tendency to drop in and Bellingham's willingness to crash the box.

As a collective, England typically build play slowly, focus their attacks out wide and are strong from set-pieces. Without the ball, the Three Lions have proven tough to penetrate at major tournaments. Southgate favours a disciplined 4-4-2 mid-block over high-pressing, although England are far more aggressive out of possession now than they were at the start of the manager's tenure.

Raheem Sterling, Mathias Jensen

England take on Denmark in Group D / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

England have been placed in Group C alongside Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia. The Three Lions beat Denmark in the semi-finals at Euro 2020 and have recently faced off in the UEFA Nations League but are less familiar with their other two opponents.

England's Euro 2024 campaign kicks off against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on 16 June. It'll be the first time they've ever faced an independent Serbia.

They take on the Danes on Matchday 2 before facing Slovenia to wrap up the group stage. England have faced Slovenia in four qualifiers since they last met at a major tournament - the 2010 World Cup - winning three and drawing one. This is Slovenia's first Euros since 2000.

England's Euro 2024 group stage fixtures

Date/Kick-off Time (BST)

Fixture

Location

16/06/24 / 20:00

Serbia vs England

Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen

20/06/24 / 17:00

Denmark vs England

Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt

25/06/24 / 20:00

England vs Slovenia

RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne

England's record vs Euro 2024 group stage opponents

Nation

Matches played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Serbia

0

0

0

0

Slovenia

6

5

1

0

Denmark

22

13

5

4

England's potential knockout opponents

Should England top Group C as expected, they'll face one of the third-place finishers from Group D, E or F in the last 16.

In that scenario, potential round of 16 opponents are Poland, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Czechia, Turkey and Georgia. The likes of France, Portugal and the Netherlands would each have to disappoint considerably in the group stage to face England.

Victory in that tie would see the Three Lions face either the runners-up of Group A or B. Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Croatia are among the candidates. France could then await in the last four.

If England finish second in Group C, they'll take on the winners of Group A in the first knockout round. Hosts Germany could await, but that's a route Southgate will be keen to avoid.

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham will be one of England's leading men in Germany / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

England's Euro 2024 squad is packed with talent, with many of their attackers heading into the campaign off the back of stellar seasons.

Record goalscorer Harry Kane topped the Bundesliga scoring charts without breaking a sweat, Phil Foden, who's yet to ignite for his country, inspired Manchester City to a fourth-straight Premier League title and Jude Bellingham took to life at Real Madrid as no other 20-year-old on the planet could.

Those three will make up the fulcrum of England's attack.

Southgate's starting XI for the opening group game against Serbia will be a familiar one but there are a couple of positions up for grabs. Luke Shaw's so important to this England side and his absence would be hard felt, while a replacement for Kalvin Phillips, who shone at Euro 2020, is needed. Will Conor Gallagher fill the void alongside the steely Declan Rice?

Eberechi Eze

Eberechi Eze could be England's wildcard this summer / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Unfortunately, the likes of Adam Wharton, Jarrad Branthwaite and Jarell Quansah are all strong candidates to be cut from the final squad, but there's still scope for English talent to emerge in Germany this summer.

Kobbie Mainoo made his international bow in March and is viewed as a contender for a spot in Southgate's XI given his stellar second half to the 2023/24 season at Man Utd.

Cole Palmer can't be ignored after his remarkable Premier League campaign, but the Chelsea star will find it hard to break into a stacked forward line. Palmer is poised for regular minutes off the bench and his impressive tendency to make things happen means he could still enjoy a breakout international tournament. Anthony Gordon will also be considered down the left if Southgate opts for a dynamic change.

Palmer and Gordon have four England caps between them, with both players yet to find the back of the net for their country.

Another breakout contender, should he make the final cut, is Eberechi Eze. The dynamic playmaker found a new lease of life under Glasner at Palace towards the end of the season and is surely one of England's most in-form players heading into the tournament. Eze's an X-factor talent who could be included as a wildcard, though he has won just two caps for the Three Lions so far.

Gareth Southgate

How far can England go at Euro 2024? / Julian Finney/GettyImages

England haven't lost a group stage game at a major tournament since they were beaten in a dead rubber by Belgium at the 2018 World Cup. Southgate's side have typically been proficient at beating teams they've been expected to defeat and that will be the case for all three group games this summer.

While Serbia have their most talented core in a generation, they typically underwhelm at tournaments. Denmark aren't quite as collectively sound as they were at Euro 2020, while Slovenia have little tournament experience and will be heavily reliant on 20-year-old goalscorer Benjamin Sesko.

England might not utterly dominate Group C but it'd be a big surprise if they don't finish in first place. An 'easier' knockout path should ensue, with the Three Lions set up to duel France in the semi-finals. Their tournament will be defined by that fixture. Eliminate Didier Deschamps' side and they'll back themselves to beat anyone - even hosts Germany - in the final.

Once again, expect Harry Kane to top the scoring charts, with Bellingham more likely than Foden to emerge as England's second protagonist in Germany.

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