England’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign
England start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign tonight against Czech Republic. They have been placed in a group with the Czech’s, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Montenegro. This is quite a straight forward group for England to get out of as the highest ranked team, other than themselves, is the Czech’s who are ranked 44th in the world, 39 places behind England. This qualifying campaign will be different from previous years, where the top two teams from the 10 groups will make it to the group stage. That still leaves four places available which will be decided by a play-off round based on UEFA Nations League winners.
England’s qualifying campaign is also relatively short with only 8 matches being played between March and November of this year. They also will be competing in the Nationals League finals, in between their qualifying matches. England have a very youthful side and will be looking to build on their good performances during the World Cup. Gareth Southgate has called up a few youngsters most notably, Sancho and Hudson-Odi who are both very promising. To add to that, Sterling and Kane have been in good form this season when fit and any team will be wary of England’s attacking firepower.
The squad has taken some injuries and six players have had to leave the champ and return to the respective clubs for treatment. Stones, Alexander-Arnold, and Shaw are all part of the injured players; however, this could give an opportunity to another youngster, right back Wan-Bissaka who has had a great breakthrough season with Crystal Palace. These qualifiers will give Southgate the opportunity to try out a lot of these young players and give them some experience at international level before deciding on his final squad for the Euro 2020.