Football

UEFA Euro 2024: Who Will Make England Squad - Favourites, Contenders, Outsiders

England, the Euro 2020 runners-up, will announce an expanded provisional group on May 21 and have until late on June 7 to submit their final 23-man squad to UEFA

The selections made by Gareth Southgate could define his England tenure. Photo: Nick Potts/PA
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Gareth Southgate has plenty to mull over as he weighs up England’s options and issues ahead of selecting his European Championship squad. (More Football News)

The Euro 2020 runners-up will announce an expanded provisional group on May 21 and have until late on June 7 to submit their final 23-man squad to UEFA.

Following the final two friendlies before Southgate’s selection, we take a look at how the England boss likely sees his options.

GOALKEEPERS

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On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton).

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jack Butland (Rangers), Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Nick Pope (Newcastle) and James Trafford (Burnley).

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Pickford has been England’s number one for the last three major tournaments and that will continue in Germany. Ramsdale appeared his closest contender but is now clinging onto a squad spot having been usurped as Arsenal’s number one. Johnstone is the likely number three, especially with Pope injured.

DEFENDERS

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On the plane: Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

In the departure lounge: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Eric Dier (Bayern Munich, loan), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle), Reece James (Chelsea), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan).

Ignoring boarding calls: Ben White (Arsenal).

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Maguire, Stones, Walker and Trippier have been to every major tournament under Southgate and are set to be on the plane once more, assuming they are fit.

Guehi missed March’s games with an issue of his own, but Southgate is confident his third-choice centre-back will be fit for the summer. Konsa and Dunk are pushing for the fourth spot. The latter impressed during his first England appearances this week, whereas Dunk’s stock dropped with a costly error in each friendly.

Branthwaite received his first call-up but did not feature, while Gomez and Colwill – who missed this camp through a toe complaint – would offer versatility to a 23-man squad.

James faces a race against time to be involved but left-back is a more pressing issue. Chilwell improved against Belgium after a poor performance against Brazil. Shaw is Southgate’s first choice but is a doubt for the Euros given he is not due to return to fitness until May.

White would likely be going to a third straight tournament had he not snubbed an England call-up this month.

MIDFIELDERS

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On the plane: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham) and Declan Rice (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Mason Mount (Manchester United) and Kalvin Phillips (West Ham, loan).

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Real Madrid star Bellingham and Arsenal man Rice are shoo-ins. Barring injuries and a woeful end to the season, vice-captain Henderson will join them whatever onlookers think of that. Gallagher appears to have also rubberstamped his spot along with Maddison.

Beyond that, though, there is a lot up in the air. Injury denied Southgate the chance to see Alexander-Arnold in midfield against high-level opposition in a month when 18-year-old Mainoo impressively staked his claim, earning the man of the match award on his first start against Belgium.

Phillips, overlooked for this squad after a disastrous start to life on loan at West Ham, is running out of time to earn a recall. Southgate says Mount is an outside bet.

FORWARDS

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On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle) Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Ivan Toney (Brentford) and Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Hoping for a late ticket: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

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In Kane, Saka and Foden, the England boss has three starters, never mind selections. It gets tougher after that due to the competition for spots.

Southgate warned at his squad unveiling that established Rashford and Grealish had a battle on their hands for a place at the Euros – a fight that increased after new boy Gordon impressed and Bowen put in his best performance yet against Belgium. Injury denied Palmer the chance to truly shine this month, but he is another knocking at the door. Chelsea team-mate Sterling looks set for a summer off.

Toney scored a penalty as he won his second cap on Tuesday and may have just edged ahead of Watkins in the race to be Kane’s back-up. Solanke is the next cab off the rank behind those two.

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