Gareth Southgate England
Gareth Southgate England

England have wrapped up all three of their warm-up matches and this weekend they kick-off their EURO 2020 campaign with their first group game vs Croatia.

Without a doubt, this is one of the strongest English sides to enter into the European Championships but with that, comes a whole lot of pressure to succeed and possibly lift the title.

England have a glittering roster for the EURO 2020 and even before the tournament has started, the Three Lions players and fans have been entangled in a bunch of debatable instances.

While the players will be under immense pressure to perform, despite the fact they have just wrapped a gruesome pandemic-hit season but maybe, the first big challenge lies with manager Gareth Southgate.

Amidst a lot of debate, advice and criticism, the manager has chosen his 26 best players for EURO 2020 and now he has to cut it down and make sure that for each game, he names his best XI. There are a number of permutations and combinations in which the England boss can set up his side for the whole tournament so we decided to take a look at some of the formations the manager might choose, starting Sunday.

Option 1 – No Harry Maguire:

The first big headache for the England boss will be the fitness of his key centre-back Harry Maguire. The defender picked up his injury last month while playing for Manchester United and till date, it’s not certain if he will be able to play or not.

In a recent interview, left-back Luke Shaw had said, as per ESPN: “He’s a massive part of this squad, whether he is playing or not,

“I haven’t really spoken to him too much about his injury. I don’t want to pepper him with questions. He is going along with his rehab. He is getting better day in, day out. There are positive signs but I couldn’t say when he’ll be back. Obviously we would like him to be back as soon as possible but that’s down to him and the physios so we’ll let them to do their work.”

Supposedly, Harry Maguire is not fully fit to feature in the starting line-up then we think the England boss will go with a 3-4-2-1 system with Ben White coming into the starting XI alongside John Stones and possibly Kyle Walker.

Two wing-backs mean Ben Chilwell will be selected over Luke Shaw with Reece James coming in as the right wing-back and maybe Mason Mount will play on one of the two flanks.

Option 2 – A conventional XI:

Now the second scenario would be if Harry Maguire is fully fit to play then the manager is not going to experiment too much and will go with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Maguire and Stones playing in at centre-back with Shaw and Reece James as the two full-backs. Henderson and Declan Rice are automatic choices in any way, shape or form while this system should also see the entry of Jack Grealish into the side.

Mason Mount could be used in a No 10 role which will then free up space for Jadon Sancho to come into the right-winger’s role.

Option 3 – Throwing the kitchen sink:

The third is a hell for leather one when the manager needs to go all out and chase a game and score goals at any cost.

If such a possibility arises then the England manager is expected to take Jordan Henderson out of the equation and use a single defensive midfielder in the form of Declan Rice.

Jack Grealish should play as the main playmaker, in the space just behind the main striker and in this variation, Rashford and Sancho should be operating as the two wide attackers. Harry Kane is the undisputed centre-forward for England and barring an injury or a substitution, we don’t see Dominic Calvert-Lewin starting for the Three Lions.

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