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England Euro 2020 squad: Who’s at the aircraft, who’s in rivalry, who may leave out out?

England are preparing for an international triple-header against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland knowing that places are still up for grabs in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad.  

Southgate’s side will face World Cup runners-up Croatia and the Czech Republic at Wembley next summer, with either Scotland or Serbia competing for the final place in Group D in Thursday’s play-offs.

This November camp is the penultimate get-together before Southgate must select his 23-man selection for next summer’s tournament, with one remaining international break in March before May’s squad deadline.

Who is all but certain of a place and who is merely in contention? Who has work to do and who is an outside bet?

Not only England’s captain and most accomplished goal-scorer but arguably their most in-form player too, Kane looks like he is back to his very best and may even be a more rounded player too. Concerns that injuries were taking their toll have also abated.

Sterling enjoyed the best goal-scoring season of his career last year and, even if he has made a slightly slower start to the new campaign with Manchester City, he is undoubtedly one of Southgate’s most important players.

Arguably the most naturally-gifted player in England’s ranks though yet to truly impress at international level. Ideally, Sancho would deliver a stand-out England performance between now and the summer but his place is safe regardless.

Out of the November camp with a calf injury, though that should not damage his hopes of making the final squad even with the fierce competition at right-back. If there’s one concern, it’s that he may not be totally suited to the wing-back role which Southgate appears to prefer.

Henderson is Southgate’s vice-captain and a key leadership figure, with more experience of international football and tournaments than practically any other player in the squad. Offers a steady option in a midfield short of outstanding players.

A national hero for his efforts in fighting child poverty off-the-pitch, Rashford has lacked consistency on-the-pitch since suffering a back injury at the start of the year but will hope to be in regular scoring form by the time the summer comes around.

Red card against Denmark rounded off a horrific couple of months for Maguire after the summer arrest in Mykonos but Southgate remains fully supportive of his “senior central defender” and another important member of the squad’s leadership group.

One of Southgate’s favourites but set to be tested at club level without Virgil van Dijk alongside him. Gomez’s form has been mixed at the start of this season but a starting spot with Maguire is likely unless injury problems get the better of him.

In a talent pool not blessed with many left-backs, Chilwell is the outstanding candidate by far. Showing even more potential as an attacking full-back at Chelsea than he did while with Leicester, but – like Alexander-Arnold – will he be suited to a wing-back role?

Even with all the questions regarding his form over the last 18 months, Pickford’s place on the plane remains safe. Southgate has publicly backed his No 1 goalkeeper, even after he was dropped for one game at club level and faces little serious competition from elsewhere.

In contention

Declan Rice

The switch to a flat two-man midfield probably helps Rice, who is still just 21-years-old and is starting to become a reliable ball-winning midfielder. Questions remain of him in possession but he is the leading candidate to start alongside Henderson.

Harry Winks

Winks is an ever-present in Southgate’s squads but has won just seven caps since his debut three years ago. The Tottenham midfielder can be confident of a place in the final squad but needs to offer more in possession to be sure of a starting place.

Mason Mount

Another Southgate favourite, to the extent where it is becoming something of a meme, but Mount’s work off-the-ball endears him to the England manager. He has, so far, managed to keep earning regular minutes at club level despite Chelsea’s lavish spending.  

Jack Grealish

Enhanced his reputation more than any other player during the last camp and has started the season brilliantly for Aston Villa. Southgate still needs to be fully convinced he is the right fit but Grealish is arguably England’s most exciting talent at the moment.

England winger Jack GrealishPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

Nick Pope

Likely to travel as Pickford’s backup but Burnley’s struggles could affect whether he gets an opportunity to oust the Everton goalkeeper. Southgate suggested that Pickford has little competition to worry about at the moment, hinting that Pope has work to do.

Eric Dier

Having reinvented himself as a centre-half and gradually worked his way back into the international fold, Dier can be confident of a place in Southgate’s final squad provided that his displays for Tottenham in that position hold up to scrutiny.

Kieran Trippier

One of the squad’s older heads now, Trippier has quietly impressed since taking the plunge and joining Atletico Madrid last summer. Southgate has not forgotten about him, including him in every squad since, despite a growing number of options at right-back.

Tyrone Mings

Despite only winning his first cap last year at 26-years-old, Mings already appears to be a player Southgate trusts. His left-footedness is no small part of his appeal as a centre-back and the switch to a three-man defence  

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Scored on debut against Wales, Calvert-Lewin’s steady run of goals at club level has established him as leading backup to Kane. The Everton striker’s physicality and aerial presence offers something different to Ings and Abraham.

Conor Coady

Coady was made to wait for a call-up but seems perfectly suited to Southgate’s new three-man defence, given that he plays in a similar system week-in and week-out at Wolves. His goal against Wales was the feel-good moment of the October camp.

Danny Ings

Ings scored and impressed during the last camp, then maintained his good form for Southampton, only for an injury to prevent a call-up this time around. You feel fitness will be the deciding factor for Ings come the summer too.

James Ward-Prowse

Excellent for Southampton at the start of the new season, Ward-Prowse only misses out on these games with a slight hamstring complaint. His set-piece ability is a rare and specialist skill that could give him the edge over others in midfield.

On the fringes

Phil Foden

Back in the fold with the Iceland incident behind him, Foden now needs to make the most of this second chance. Southgate would not have brought him back so quickly if he did not believe that he could make an impact at the Euros. His potential is huge.

Kalvin Phillips

Unfortunate to miss out through injury and will hope his absence from this camp does not count against him. Phillips did well without truly excelling on his four appearances so far and it remains to be seen whether he is suited to the new system.

Tammy Abraham

Now earning more regular minutes under Frank Lampard and scoring goals too, Abraham has to keep playing and playing well for Chelsea in order to ward off competition at international level. May have missed out on this squad if Ings was fit.

Bukayo Saka

Saka’s ability to play anywhere down the left flank is an asset, given the lack of left-footed players. Still eligible to represent Nigeria until he plays three competitive matches for England, due to a change of Fifa’s rules.

England midfielder Kalvin PhillipsPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kyle Walker

Walker could be the one to lose out if Southgate eventually decides to cut the number of right-backs down to size but his ability to operate as a right-sided centre-back gives him another route into the final selection next summer.

Dean Henderson

Easily one of England’s three best goalkeepers based on his displays on loan at Sheffield United last season but has only made three appearances since returning to Manchester United. A January loan move in search of regular minutes is a possibility.

Michael Keane

Keane enjoyed an impressive start to the season with Everton though performances have dipped of late under Carlo Ancelotti, with the defence coming under greater scrutiny. England’s switch to three-at-the-back helps his cause.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Having reinvented himself as Arsenal’s utility man, Maitland-Niles could do the same for England. His ability to cover at left-back is useful but if club team-mate Saka establishes himself as Chilwell’s backup, Maitland-Niles could be pushed out of the final squad.

Reece James

Included in this squad despite being suspended for the two Nations League fixtures due to his red card after the final whistle against Denmark, which shows just how highly-rated he is by the England set-up. Southgate glowed when speaking about James’ displays in training.

Harvey Barnes

Left out of this camp after receiving a first call-up last time, Barnes probably needs to produce a little more consistently for Leicester in order to force his way past the many forward options Southgate has to consider.

Work to do

Mason Greenwood

In contrast to Foden, still out in the cold. Greenwood arguably faces greater competition for a place than Foden anyway, though will need to rediscover the form he showed at Manchester United during the tail end of last season in order to have a chance.

James Maddison

Somehow still uncapped but, then again, has had a slow start to the season while recovering from injury with Leicester City. Is there space for him, Grealish and all the other attacking talent in the same squad? Maybe not.

Ross Barkley

Overlooked for this camp despite moving out on loan and finding regular first-team football at Villa. Southgate likes Barkley so there is still a decent chance that he will force his way into the squad but whether he fits into the new system is a concern.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Hudson-Odoi’s pathway to regular minutes at Chelsea is unclear, given all the competition in attack at Stamford Bridge and with just one league start since the season began. Another player admitted by Southgate but the England manager cannot pick them all.

England midfielder Jude BellinghamGetty Images

Callum Wilson

All of Wilson’s four caps have come under Southgate but he was overlooked once again for this squad, despite six goals to start his new life at Newcastle United. Ings, Calvert-Lewin and Abraham all currently appear to be ahead of him.

Fikayo Tomori

Like Hudson-Odoi, only with even fewer minutes. Tomori has played one half of league football this season and probably needs to excel on a loan spell from January onwards if he is going to force his way back into Southgate’s plans.

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham earns his first senior call-up following the injury to Ward-Prowse. His youth and inexperience may count against him in the final analysis but the chronic lack of options in central midfield stands in his favour.

Outside bets

Jamie Vardy

Vardy did not announce his retirement from international football after the 2018 World Cup, instead merely ‘walking away’ from the England set-up. Southgate remains in contact and the door is open but a return appears unlikely for now.

Ollie Watkins

Watkins has quickly adapted to life in the Premier League with six goals in seven appearances for Villa but will need to sustain his strong start over the course of the season in order to force his way into the conversation up front.

Patrick Bamford

The same applies to Bamford, even though he has gone one better than Watkins with seven goals in eight. If he’s still scoring regularly come March, he may be in with a chance. The Leeds striker is still eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland, too.

Dele Alli

The forgotten man. Alli’s last international appearance was at the Nations League finals more than a year ago but he will need to win back the confidence of Jose Mourinho at club level before an England return will be considered.

John Stones

The other forgotten man. Stones appears to have little hope of nailing down a regular place at City following the arrival of record signing Ruben Dias and consistent, impressive performances may be required in order to win back Southgate’s favour.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The barrier to Oxlade-Chamberlain playing more regularly for club and country is the same as it ever was: fitness. The Liverpool midfielder has missed the start of the new campaign with a knee injury. A run of good form late in the season may be his best hope.

Luke Shaw

Shaw has not played for England in more than two years and has been injured for each of his last four call-ups. Southgate said “the door is certainly open” for the Manchester United left-back but hopes are fading with every squad announcement.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Arguably the best one-on-one defensive full-back in the country yet still uncapped at senior international level. Wan-Bissaka is an unfortunate victim of England’s right-back surplus but his limitations going forward cannot be ignored either.

Michail Antonio

David Moyes has made the most of Antonio’s unique skill set at West Ham. Could England do the same? A sustained run of scoring once he returns from injury would become hard to ignore but Calvert-Lewin, Ings and Abraham are stiff competition.

Tariq Lamptey

Lamptey’s displays for Brighton since establishing himself as a regular under Graham Potter have caught many an eye, but next summer’s Euros may have come too soon for him given his age and the competition at right-back.

Ben White

Name-checked by Southgate during the lockdown as a player who could make the final squad, Lamptey’s club team-mate White has an outside chance if he can replicate the form from his loan spell at Leeds in the top flight.

Aaron Ramsdale

England’s first-choice goalkeeper at Under-21s level has an opportunity to claim one of the mandatory three spots in next summer’s squad but will need to improve on a slow start to the season with Sheffield United.

The Independent’s predicted Euro 2020 squad

Goalkeepers: Pickford, Pope, Henderson 

Defenders: Maguire, Gomez, Coady, Dier, Mings, Walker, Alexander-Arnold, Trippier, Chilwell 

Midfielders: Henderson, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Mount, Foden 

Forwards: Kane, Sterling, Grealish, Rashford, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin

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