Roy Hodgson’s England won all ten of their qualifying matches in the build-up to the competition, scoring 30 goals and conceding just three in the process. While they had a relatively straightforward campaign, the Three Lions showed enough quality and prowess to suggest they can go toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite football nations this summer – and here’s why.
Ultimately, Hodgson has an incredible talented roster at his disposal. England have one of the best teams in the competition on paper and while that doesn’t necessarily mean they will perform well on the field, all signs in the warm-up matches indicate that this England side are capable of achieving great things… if Hodgson gets his selection right.
At the time of writing, Betway are pricing England at 9/1 to win the competition and Hodgson’s men should feature prominently in the latter stages of the tournament at the very least. If England can emulate their performance in the 3-2 victory over Germany in Berlin, then they stand a great chance. If they play like they did when losing 2-1 at home to The Netherlands, they will struggle to advance past the group stages.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to predict how England will perform. Supporters have got so used to seeing a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ England at major tournaments that nobody really knows if Hodgson’s men will crash out at the group stage or if they will go on and win it. After all, they may take inspiration from the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore – fifty years on from the heroes of 1966.
The experience of Wayne Rooney will be important but Hodgson cannot – and should not – select him to lead the line for England this summer. The Manchester United man hasn’t performed well enough to displace either Harry Kane or Jamie Vardy in attack and Rooney should be deployed either in the ‘number 10’ role or on the substitute’s bench.
If Hodgson picks with his head rather than his heart, England should give a reasonable account of themselves in France this summer. You can bet on them qualifying from their group as winners at 5/6 with Betway and it would take a brave man to back against Hodgson’s side despite their poor form at major tournaments.
England have a genuine chance of snatching glory on the international stage this summer and fans are beginning to get excited for the tournament, which is now less than one month away. And with Hodgson’s squad announcement coming soon, that excitement may grow stronger or disappear completely. One thing’s for sure: it’s going to be a great tournament, no matter how England perform.