England – A UEFA Euro 2016 Team Preview

Posted on by Sreya

England vs Scotland

Two years after a disappointing FIFA World Cup outing in Brazil, Roy Hodgson’s England are all set to challenge for European supremacy when they begin their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign against Russia on 11th June at Stade Velodrome, Marseille.

England qualified with ease from Group E during the UEFA Euro qualifiers winning all their ten matches, scoring at a consistent rate and conceding only three goals. Not only did the Three Lions put up tactically astute performances, they finished games with a ruthlessness they are seldom known for.

While Roy Hodgson announced the preliminary England squad earlier this week, all eyes will be on England’s two preparatory matches against Turkey and Australia later this month, with the final squad to be decided after these warm-up matches. To dissuade the concerns of England facing only minnows in the lead-up to the Euros, Roy Hodgson’s side will also take on Portugal on 2nd June at the New Wembley Stadium.

The inclusion of the still uncapped Marcus Rashford has come as a surprise, but the young Manchester United forward has showcased his talent one every opportunity provided to him by Louis van Gaal in spite of his club’s difficult domestic season. The injury to Daniel Welbeck also made it easier for the 18-year-old to get the call-up. Although he won’t be playing against Turkey owing to his club’s FA Cup final the day before, Rashford is expected to make his England debut against Australia.

Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge are the rest of the forwards allowing Hodgson the liberty to choose his goalscorers among in-form players. England also boast of an all-round midfield with the likes of Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Jack Wilshere – young players well-versed in the art of slow build-up as well as quick counters, who have the temperament to perform at the highest level.

England’s defence might be a legitimate cause of concern due to their relative inexperience at the international level but a back four of Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea) and Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) is as solid as it gets. With four defenders who are equally comfortable in high as well as low blocks, the success of English defence rests on the tactics employed.

Having been drawn in a complex group with Russia, Wales and Slovakia, Roy Hodgson’s side will need to be at their absolute best to win the group stage. However, the Three Lions have already shown they have what it takes to emerge victorious against the best squads with their win over Germany earlier this year. A right balance of technique and composure could take England all the way to a major international trophy for the first time since 1966.

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