Euro 2020 Special
 

Euro 2020: Form Check For Players As Squad Selections Gather Steam

It is less than 100 days to the start of the much-awaited Euro 2020 Championships. As fans across Europe wait eagerly for the postponed tournament to start, teams across the continent have started their preparations to claim continental glory. With many teams likely to throw up surprises this summer, the top contenders will hope that their players remain at the top of their form and deliver their country the trophy.

We look at the form of players for the top contenders in contention, and how it might affect their championship chances:

ENGLAND

Ever since their dream run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Gareth Southgate’s men have been the centre of attraction for international media. The Three Lions count some of the most promising young attacking talents among their ranks and they are likely to be one of the most entertaining teams to watch this June.

The team is led by England’s most accomplished goal-scorer Harry Kane. Kane has been phenomenal this season in the Premier League – he is the second-highest goalscorer in the Premier League with 16 goals to his name so far. Injuries are the only worry for Southgate as far as Harry Kane is concerned, but he is likely to net quite a few goals this summer.

Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho have been inconsistent this season in the Premier League, but their form has picked up since Christmas and they are sure to be a part of the final squad. Marcus Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold have had indifferent seasons, although they are likely to be a part of the final squad, it remains to be seen if Southgate will keep them in the playing XI. Jack Grealish has impressed fans and critics alike since his international debut in September, and his inclusion in the squad is very likely.

Leeds’ star Patrick Bamford could be the surprise entrant in the squad, he is currently the third-highest goalscorer in the Premier League. Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips has missed out on the international fixtures due to injury, but he could find a spot in the final squad given his impressive performance for Leeds.

FRANCE

As the reigning World Champions, all eyes are on Didier Deschamps’ men to claim European glory. The Les Bleus will also look to avenge their 2016 defeat to Portugal in the 2016 final. France boasts perhaps the deepest squad in Europe and they have plenty of talent to choose from going into the tournament.

The team’s hopes are championed by Kylian Mbappe, whose rise to the top was nothing short of meteoric. He was instrumental in the World Cup, becoming only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. The Paris Saint-Germain forward continues his dominance in Ligue 1 – he is the top goal-scorer with 18 goals from 19 appearances so far.

Antonio Griezmann has not had an early good start at Barcelona, but his recent performances have been phenomenal. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is having a forgettable season, and boss Didier Deschamps hopes both the players will return to form in time for the tournament.

France’s defences are rock solid, the ever-present Raphael Varane and N’Golo Kante along with skipper Hugo Lloris make it a tough ask for any opposition to counter-attack the French.

BELGIUM

Roberto Martinez’s men have cemented their position at the top of FIFA World Rankings in the past few years, and they would love to crown that achievement with a trophy. This summer is the best chance for Belgium’s Golden Generation to seal their name in the history books.

Thibaut Courtois has been in his best form for Real Madrid this season, with 11 clean sheets in 26 appearances. Vincent Kompany and Toby Alderweireld are excellent defenders and it will be a challenge for any team to pass through the Red Devils’ defences.

The attacking line-up is headlined by Romelu Lukaku – the Inter Milan star is second in the race for Golden Boot behind Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A. Kevin De Bruyne, the country’s all-time leading goal scorer has recovered from injury recently, and Martinez will be hoping for the playmaker’s return to form.

But all is not rosy for Belgium – Eden Hazard’s disastrous run at Real Madrid continues, and the midfielder’s lack of form will affect their playmaking chances.

GERMANY

Joachim Löw’s side finished top of Group C ahead of the Netherlands after winning seven of their eight games to the tune of 30 goals. They would love to add another trophy to their cabinet after a barren run in recent years.

Midfielder and Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich has secured his right-back berth with his impressive performances. Along with Toni Kroos, the duo form arguably the best double-pivot in world football, and their form is crucial for the team. Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg have the flanks covered at the back.

Timo Werner is having a goal-less run at Chelsea, and his efforts at breaking that run are going in vain. Serge Gnabry has suffered a thigh injury in the Club World Cup finale, and his availability is under doubt. Leroy Sane has only recently recovered from his knee injury and his form has to be seen in the next few weeks.

 

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