England tipped as Euro 2020 favourites amid UEFA five substitute rule change

(Written by Jack Bibb)

As per UEFA’s recent announcement, teams will be able to make up to five substitutes during matches at Euro 2020.

The rule was already in place for the World Cup qualification matches that took place during March, but after approval from UEFA’s executive committee, the rule is set to continue through to this summer’s tournament.

In their statement, UEFA said the rule remains “valid against the background” of games impacted by the pandemic.

With only eight league games remaining, focus is very much being shifted onto international football and the time for Gareth Southgate to select his final squad is edging nearer.

As with every England squad selection, there will always be controversial omissions from the squad.

UEFA’s announcement does not make this any easier for Southgate, so, expect deserving players to miss out.

However, it does allow the Three Lions boss to optimise the players he has in his 26-man star-studded squad- all of whom have staked a serious claim for a spot in the starting line-up.

England’s wide array of talent has them tipped as joint favourites for Euro 2020, with SkyBet placing them at 5/1 alongside 2018 World Cup winners France.

Les Blues are another to benefit from UEFA’s announcement as they also boast a tremendous amount of strength in depth. 

Players such as Aymeric Laporte and Marcus Thuram, son of Lilan- the most capped French player of all-time- missed out on the last squad, which outlines the current quality in their roster.

Already hotly tipped for the title, the ‘five sub rule’ will only boost England’s chances of success at the forthcoming tournament. 

The Three Lions undoubtedly have enough talent in their ranks to secure them their first international honour since the 1966 World Cup; Southgate’s conundrum, however, is how to squeeze it all into eleven starting spots.

Competition for England’s ‘number ten’ is hotting up and is proving to be the Three Lions’ biggest selection dilemma.

The emergence of Phil Foden, resurgence of Jesse Lingard, brilliance of Jack Grealish and intelligence of Mason Mount this season has them all vying for the coveted attacking midfielder role.

Between them, the attacking quartet have racked up a combined 48 goals and assists so far this Premier League campaign- more than the entire Sheffield United squad.

In England’s recent matches, at least two of the above featured as starters so their fine form will potentially lead to the omission of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, or Jadon Sancho.

All attacking players, this is where the ‘five sub rule will’ benefit England as Southgate will be able to bring on five players of Champions League calibre.

Substitutes may prove pivotal for England at the Euro’s as 20 per cent of their goals since September have come in the final ten minutes of matches.

Featured image credit: “UEFA EURO 2020 Trophy, Football Championship” by wuestenigel is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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