With two months until the 2016 European Championship gets underway, rumours regarding Roy Hodgson’s squad selection are beginning to surface. In England’s recent friendly matches, the Three Lions manager handed a debut to Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose and both players performed well, especially during England’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory against Germany in Berlin.
On that day, Hodgson’s side looked like potential European champions and England fans flooded to the bookmakers to bet on their nation emerging victorious on July 10th in various Euro 2016 betting markets. However, it will all come down to one key aspect: Hodgson’s squad. If the former Liverpool boss opts for the likes of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge, England will most probably crash out of the competition at the group stages.
However, if he chooses players on form, i.e Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in attack, then the Three Lions may go all the way. We take a look at the potential candidates for England’s Euro 2016 squad this summer and give our thoughts on who Hodgson may opt for as the Three Lions look to emulate the 1966 World Cup winning side.
Joe Hart will now stand alone as England’s number one goalkeeper. Had Jack Butland not picked up a season-ending injury, Bookies.com’s prediction of Hart and Butland as England’s top two goalkeepers would almost certainly have been correct. While this setback has hindered England’s odds in many Euro 2016 betting markets, competition for places is growing and it’s heating up as the tournament draws ever closer.
In defence, Nathaniel Clyne, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka and John Stones are almost certainly going to be on the plane while Kyle Walker and Danny Rose will also feel confident of selection. That may leave one or two spaces for Danny Simpson, Luke Shaw and Ryan Bertrand. And with Shaw struggling to recover from his double leg fracture, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Hodgson opt for Bertrand as cover at left back.
Fortunately for Hodgson, the midfield more or less picks itself. James Milner, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley are all certainties whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana will probably be competing against one another. But perhaps most interesting of all is whether Hodgson will opt for Drinkwater or Wilshere. The Leicester midfielder has been phenomenal all season but Hodgson is a big fan of the Arsenal man.
And the England boss will have yet another tricky choice in attack. While Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane are dead certs, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott are on the fringes, not to mention Raheem Sterling. Unfortunately, Hodgson cannot take them all and someone will probably have to miss out – most likely at the expense of England captain Rooney, who has struggled for form this season.
If Hodgson gets it right, England could be lifting the trophy on July 10th. If not, they may suffer yet another embarrassing early exit at a major tournament – THAT’S how crucial his selection is. One thing’s for sure: England fans are right to be excited at the prospect of winning the competition this summer but they should be equally nervous at the idea of an unfit, out-of-sorts Wayne Rooney leading the line…