Euros 2024: Can the England Team Expect?

As Euro 2024 approaches, England’s national team faces both high expectations and intense scrutiny. The squad, comprised of a mix of seasoned veterans and emerging talents, reflects a balance that could be pivotal in their quest for European glory.

Current Squad Overview

England’s 26-man squad for Euro 2024 offers depth and versatility across the pitch. With Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale, and Dean Henderson as goalkeeping options, the team boasts reliable shot-stoppers with ample international experience.

The defensive lineup features a blend of experience and youth. Kyle Walker and John Stones bring stability and leadership from Manchester City, while Marc Guéhi and Ezri Konsa add fresh legs and solid defensive skills. Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier offer both defensive solidity and offensive support from the flanks, essential for England’s tactical flexibility.

In midfield, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham stand out as pivotal players. Rice’s defensive prowess and Bellingham’s creative spark are crucial for controlling the midfield battle. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s versatility, capable of playing both as a midfielder and a right-back, provides Gareth Southgate with tactical flexibility. Young talents like Conor Gallagher and Adam Wharton add dynamism and energy, potentially key in high-stakes matches.

The forward line is spearheaded by captain Harry Kane, whose goal-scoring record speaks for itself. Supported by Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, the attack is both potent and versatile. Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins bring physicality and aerial prowess, while the likes of Eberechi Eze and Cole Palmer offer creativity and flair from the wings.

Strengths and Weaknesses

England’s primary strength lies in its balanced squad. The mix of experienced campaigners and youthful exuberance provides depth and options across the pitch. The defence, anchored by Stones and Walker, is robust, while the midfield, driven by Rice and Bellingham, combines defensive stability with creative potential. Kane’s leadership and goal-scoring ability are complemented by a versatile and dynamic supporting cast.

However, there are weaknesses. The team’s reliance on key players like Kane and Rice means that any injury to these individuals could severely impact performance. Additionally, while the squad is well-rounded, the lack of a clear second-choice striker behind Kane might be a concern if the captain faces fitness issues.

Key Players and Form

Harry Kane’s form at Bayern Munich has been exceptional, and his leadership will be vital. Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, both enjoying stellar seasons at their clubs, bring creativity and pace. Jude Bellingham, now at Real Madrid, has matured into a world-class midfielder, expected to play a crucial role.

Impact of Recent Injuries and Call-Ups

Injuries have been a concern, notably to Reece James and Ben Chilwell, who miss the tournament. Their absence has necessitated tactical adjustments, with Alexander-Arnold and Shaw expected to shoulder more responsibility. New call-ups like Adam Wharton and Kobbie Mainoo introduce fresh talent and competition for starting spots, potentially invigorating the squad dynamics.

Tactical Approach and Strategies

England’s tactical approach for Euro 2024 under Gareth Southgate is expected to be both pragmatic and adaptable, leveraging a variety of formations to suit different opponents and match scenarios. The 4-3-3 formation has been a staple, providing a balance between attack and defence. This setup allows for dynamic wing play from Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, while Harry Kane spearheads the attack.

In more defensive scenarios, Southgate might opt for a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation, utilising three central defenders like John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Marc Guéhi, bolstered by wing-backs Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier. This approach enhances defensive solidity while maintaining width and support in both attack and defence.

Compared to previous tournaments, there’s a noticeable evolution in England’s tactical flexibility. In Euro 2020, Southgate often employed a more cautious approach, but recent matches indicate a willingness to adopt a higher pressing game and more fluid attacking transitions, reflecting a shift towards a more proactive style.

Potential line-ups include:

– Attacking Setup (4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guéhi, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham, Alexander-Arnold; Saka, Kane, Foden.
– Defensive Setup (3-4-3): Pickford; Stones, Walker, Guéhi; Trippier, Rice, Bellingham, Shaw; Saka, Kane, Foden.

Player Performance and Statistics

As Euro 2024 nears, examining the performance metrics and roles of England’s key players provides insights into their potential impact. The squad is filled with individuals who have demonstrated remarkable form and consistency for their clubs and country.

Harry Kane

Performance Metrics: Kane remains England’s talisman, with 63 goals in 91 appearances. At Bayern Munich, he continues to excel, showcasing his goal-scoring prowess and playmaking ability with 25 goals and 10 assists in the 2023-24 season.

Role and Execution: Kane’s role is multifaceted. He operates not only as a central striker but also drops deep to link play, drawing defenders and creating space for wingers like Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden. His leadership on and off the pitch is invaluable.

Comparison: Compared to other top strikers in the tournament, Kane’s blend of goal-scoring and creative play makes him a standout. His ability to influence the game both in and out of possession sets him apart from more traditional poachers like Erling Haaland.

Bukayo Saka

Performance Metrics: Saka has emerged as a key player for Arsenal and England. He has 33 caps with 11 goals and consistently delivers in big matches. This season, he has tallied 15 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League.

Role and Execution: Saka excels on the right wing, providing width, pace, and creativity. His ability to cut inside and shoot or deliver precise crosses makes him a dual threat. Defensively, he contributes by pressing and tracking back.

Comparison: Saka’s versatility and work rate are compared favourably to that of other wingers like France’s Kylian Mbappé. While Mbappé is renowned for his explosive speed and finishing, Saka’s all-around game and defensive contributions provide a different but equally valuable asset.

Jude Bellingham

Performance Metrics: At Real Madrid, Bellingham has matured into a world-class midfielder. With 29 caps and 3 goals for England, his recent form includes 10 goals and 8 assists in La Liga, highlighting his offensive impact.

Role and Execution: Bellingham’s role involves driving the team forward from midfield, breaking opposition lines with his dribbling and passing. Defensively, he is robust, making crucial tackles and interceptions.

Comparison: Compared to other midfielders like Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne, Bellingham’s physicality and dribbling ability add a unique dimension. While De Bruyne excels in vision and passing, Bellingham’s box-to-box energy and defensive work rate offer a comprehensive package.

Declan Rice

Performance Metrics: Rice is pivotal for both club and country, with 51 caps and 3 goals for England. His season at Arsenal has seen him excel defensively, with a high number of tackles, interceptions, and passing accuracy above 90%.

Role and Execution: As a defensive midfielder, Rice shields the backline, breaks up play, and initiates attacks. His positional awareness and ball distribution are critical in maintaining team structure and transitioning from defence to attack.

Comparison: Compared to players like Italy’s Jorginho, Rice offers greater physicality and defensive robustness. While Jorginho’s strength lies in his passing and game management, Rice combines defensive solidity with forward thrust.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Performance Metrics: Known for his attacking prowess, Alexander-Arnold has 25 caps and 3 goals. His season at Liverpool includes 5 goals and 15 assists, demonstrating his effectiveness in creating opportunities.

Role and Execution: Traditionally a right-back, his role has evolved to include central midfield duties, leveraging his vision and passing range to orchestrate play. His set-piece ability adds another dimension to England’s attack.

Comparison: His versatility and offensive contributions make him comparable to João Cancelo of Portugal, who also plays a hybrid role. Alexander-Arnold’s creativity and crossing ability are among the best in the tournament.

In summary, England’s key players bring a mix of technical skill, tactical intelligence, and physical prowess. Their roles are well-defined, and their recent performances highlight their readiness for Euro 2024, standing tall among the top talents in the tournament.

Historical Performance and Lessons Learned

England’s performance in major tournaments has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Historically, the team has experienced both glorious moments and heartbreaking exits, each offering valuable lessons.

Previous Major Tournaments

England’s pinnacle achievement remains the 1966 World Cup victory on home soil, a triumph that still resonates today. More recently, the team has shown promise, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020. The latter, held across Europe, ended in a dramatic penalty shootout loss to Italy at Wembley, a defeat that underscored both progress and persistent challenges.

Lessons Learned

From these experiences, several lessons have emerged:

1. Tactical Flexibility: The 2018 World Cup showcased the effectiveness of a solid defensive setup and counter-attacking play. In contrast, Euro 2020 highlighted the need for adaptability, as England successfully deployed a variety of formations but faltered in the final under pressure.

2. Set-Piece Efficiency: Both tournaments underscored the importance of set-pieces. England’s success in 2018 was partly due to their proficiency in this area, emphasizing the need for continued focus on set-piece strategies.

3. Mental Resilience: The penalty shootout loss in Euro 2020 reiterated the psychological aspect of the game. Building mental resilience and handling high-pressure situations remain crucial areas for improvement.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors have a profound influence on team performance. The weight of national expectations often creates immense pressure, affecting players’ performance. The penalty shootout curse, historically haunting England, exemplifies the mental block that can arise in critical moments.

To address this, England has incorporated sports psychologists to help players manage stress and build confidence. The emphasis on a positive team culture, unity, and leadership has been pivotal. Gareth Southgate, himself a victim of a crucial penalty miss in Euro 1996, brings a unique perspective on handling pressure, fostering a supportive environment where players can thrive.

In summary, England’s historical performance in major tournaments reveals a blend of tactical prowess and psychological challenges. By learning from past experiences and focusing on both strategic and mental aspects, the team aims to convert potential into tangible success at Euro 2024.

Realistic Expectations and Predictions

As Euro 2024 approaches, an objective assessment of England’s chances reveals both optimism and caution. The team’s blend of experienced stalwarts and emerging talents positions them as strong contenders, yet several challenges lie ahead.

Objective Assessment

England’s current form, characterised by consistent performances and a well-balanced squad, suggests they have the potential to advance deep into the tournament. Key players like Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, and Bukayo Saka are in excellent form, providing a solid foundation for success.

Potential Challenges

1. Injury Concerns: The absence of key players due to injuries, such as Reece James and Ben Chilwell, could disrupt team dynamics and limit tactical options.
2. High Expectations: The psychological pressure of national expectations and past tournament heartbreaks could impact performance, especially in knockout stages.
3. Tactical Adaptability: Facing tactically astute teams like France, Germany, and Spain will require England to be flexible and innovative in their approach.


Based on current form and competition analysis, England is expected to progress past the group stage and potentially reach the semi-finals. Overcoming tactical and psychological hurdles will be crucial for advancing further. While winning the tournament is within reach, particularly if key players stay fit and the team handles pressure effectively, a semi-final exit seems a realistic expectation given the strong competition.

In conclusion, England’s journey in Euro 2024 holds promise, with realistic expectations tempered by the awareness of inherent challenges.