|England to win Nations League||15/2||888Sport|
|England to win Euro 2020||7/1||BetHard|
It only took one tournament to change perceptions of the England national team up and down the country, but the wait for that summer to finally arrive had been endured for many years.
Gareth Southgate led the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final in Russia last year for the first time since 1990, when they famously lost to West Germany on penalties.
The draw might have been kind to them and the road was cleared of any debris until the last four, but the atmosphere had changed from underappreciation to falling in love with everything associated with them.
In the November internationals, England climbed to the summit of the group with their vengeance win against Croatia and qualified for the Nations League semi-finals in Portugal come the end of the domestic season.
With their European Championship 2020 qualifiers beginning on Friday evening against the Czech Republic, in which they are 2/9 (BetHard) to seal the three points, England’s supporters will now start to believe that they can go all the way in next year’s tournament.
As seen ever since Southgate first arrived on the job, his emphasis has always been on young players. From being the England U-21 manager before taking up the senior’s role, the Three Lions coach has been able to watch the younger generation grow into the players they are today.
The bond between a manager and a player is of huge importance, which is why it is so pleasing to see Southgate go down the route of treating his squad as family.
There is a great vibe in-and-around the squad, with club allegiances going out of the window and players now feeling comfortable with each other.
🏆 Current #NationsLeague outright odds 👇— freebets.net (@freebetsnet) March 22, 2019
🇵🇹 Portugal - 2/1
🏴 England - 2/1
🇳🇱 Netherlands - 10/3
🇨🇭 Switzerland - 13/2
🤑 Who's your money on?
In the latest squad announcement, Southgate went for a bold approach of calling up Jadon Sancho, Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi. With the latter’s game time incredibly limited, the former Middlesbrough manager showed his faith once again in the new wave of English talent.
Rice, who had played for Republic of Ireland three times in uncompetitive games, is being tipped as the Three Lions’ defensive midfield player that they have been longing for over the last few years.
The West Ham academy graduate has put in impressive performances this season, which bodes well for his first time with the England seniors.
A lot of tournament football boils down to luck and being in the right place at the right time – just as England were in Russia last summer.
With a healthy-looking squad that breeds an impeccable amount of raw talent, Southgate’s men will be one of the underlying favourites for the tournament. Currently, just over a year out before the competition begins, they are priced at 7/1 with Coral to win their first major tournament since 1966.
In Group A of the qualifiers, England have to overcome: Czech Republic, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Kosovo. With that mix of nations, it is no surprise to see why the Three Lions are overwhelming favourites to top the group at 1/6 with the best bookmakers.
While England have some very young players coming through at the right time before Euro 2020, they also have household names that can deliver when the time comes to it.
World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane is one of those, who had an international tournament to remember last summer and will be looking to emulate those stats in next year’s European Championship.
The Tottenham centre forward, who is also captain of the Three Lions, is now one of the most senior players in the squad, having been around the international set-up for four years now.
While that is still not a long time, given the other players in the squad, Kane has been able to show his maturity of playing on the biggest stages of all.
Along with Kane, teammate Dele Alli, Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling and Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard also provide experience in advanced areas.
While the more ‘senior’ players in the squad are still young and in the prime of their careers, Southgate knows and has full belief in making sure he maximises the talent that he has at his disposal.
With younger talent on the fringes – such as James Maddison, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Foden and more – England have a pool of riches to dip into when the time is right for Southgate to call upon.
The future is looking increasingly bright.