ArchBall’s Euro 2020 predictions

As the delayed edition of EURO 2020 creeps upon us, plenty of countries are going into the tournament full of hope. 

After the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world aside last year, if there was any time for players to bring joy back home, it’s now. 

Before the start of any sporting competition one of the main talking points are people’s predictions. Whether it’s around the table at the pub or over your mates’ WhatsApp group everyone is talking about who they think will go all the way. 

So us here at ArchBall thought we’d get involved too. 

Below, some of our team will predict, with our reasoning, all things England for this summer’s European Championships.

England’s best performer:

For me, I believe this could be put into two different categories. Statistically, Harry Kane will perform the best for England, more on him later. However, as for our most entertainly and pleasing player to watch, I can’t see past Manchester City’s Phil Foden. There’s no better player in the squad at picking the ball up on the half-turn and running at a scurrying defence. What a sight. 

The obvious choice here would be Harry Kane, however, looking past our number nine, I believe Chelsea’s academy graduate, Mason Mount could be vital for England this summer – a very impressive season for Chelsea and hopefully an equally impressive summer for England.

The debate between Grealish, Mount and Foden is still no closer to a conclusion but Gareth Southgate has shown a fondness for the Chelsea midfielder, one which will be repaid in this tournament. Declan Rice will announce himself on the world stage at this tournament but I think his close friend Mason Mount will be integral for his nation this summer.

Jack Grealish should be the second name on the team sheet after Harry Kane and if Gareth Southgate does start him, I expect him to be England’s best player. The Aston Villa captain is an absolute magician with the ball and can create chances for fun. There’s no doubt in my mind that if England get to the latter stages, Jack Grealish will have played a big part in it.

Most disappointing:

As for most disappointing, hopefully nobody. But if I had to say someone, for me it is probably going to be the manager. This squad is 100% good enough to go the whole way, but only if we utilse our exceptional attacking talents and take it to teams. With Gareth Southgate in charge, I don’t think this will be the case. I hope he proves me wrong. 

  • Tom Cayless

In terms of disappointment, I will be extremely disappointed if Harry Maguire or Jordan Henderson aren’t able to regain full fitness for the tournament as both have a big role to play for England. Without Maguire it significantly reduces England’s chances of playing four-at-the-back, Henderson’s leadership is vital. This is England’s best squad in over a decade and I just hope injuries don’t ruin our chances.

  • Callum Owen

It is no secret that whilst Southgate has a plethora of attacking options at his disposal, there is a distinct weakness at the back. It remains to be seen whether Harry Maguire and/or Jordan Henderson will be fit for the opening game versus Croatia at Wembley, this coming at the expense of John Stones in my opinion. The Man City centre-half has re-found his best form this year but has done so alongside the formidable Ruben Dias, the absence of such a figure meaning that I think he’ll fail to please this summer.

  • Jamie Rooke                    

Jordan Pickford is likely to start between the sticks this summer due to Southgate’s preference for ball playing keepers. However, I believe that he will be a weak point as he always seems, and he is one of them keepers that can make a world class save then drop a clanger a minute later.

  • Lee Eccles

Top scorer: 

Definitely the easiest prediction out of the lot. Yes, taking penalties helps, but Harry Kane is not only the best goalscorer in this England squad but in the whole competition. The only reason this doesn’t go to Kane is injury. Simple as that. 

  • Tom Cayless

Pretty easy ,not much to say here. If he stays fit, Harry Kane will be not only England’s top scorer, but the whole tournament’s top scorer. 

  • Callum Owen

This is probably the easiest category to predict- Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup and it is hard to see anyone of an English persuasion outscoring the departing Spurs star. As long as Kane is in the team, even the likes of Sterling and Rashford will be playing second-fiddle on a goals front if Southgate’s men are to be successful.

  • Jamie Rooke

There is, for me, only one man who is going to be England’s top scorer at Euro 2020 and it is Harry Kane. The Tottenham striker has just claimed the golden boot in the Premier League and is arguably the best striker in world football. No matter what system Southgate employs, Kane is certain to score and with him taking penalties he’ll add a few there.

  • Lee Eccles 
Image
Harry Kane with Golden Boot and Player Maker awards – https://twitter.com/iF2is/status/1396520142985703436?s=20

Most surprising:

Mainly because Jordan Henderson hasn’t played since February, I think we will see more of 17-year-old Jude Bellingham than initially thought. The youngster was excellent for Dortmund this season and is already above the likes of James Ward-Prowse and James Maddison in the pecking order. Do not be shocked if Bellingham lights up the pitch this summer. 

  • Tom Cayless

With doubts surrounding Harry Maguire’s fitness, Conor Coady could see more action this summer than would be expected. However, he is a solid, dependable centre-back who is familiar with the three at the back formation that Southgate could choose to deploy. If called upon, look out for some solid displays from the Wolves captain.

  • Callum Owen 

Ardent Premier League fans that seem to neglect players that play outside of England’s top division are hesitant to accept the talent of Jadon Sancho. As a regular watcher of Dortmund and the Bundesliga in general, I’m quite confident in saying that I think he can cut his teeth on the biggest stage of them all. I’m unsure how much the winger will feature under Southgate’s stewardship but if he does, his skills and heart on his sleeve playing style will be sure to win over his doubters.

  • Jamie Rooke

I think many people have underestimated the season Dominic Calvert Lewin has had, 16 goals in 33 Premier League games is no mean feat. I believe the Everton striker will surprise many with his performances from the bench, if England need the goal at any time, he’s the perfect man to bring on with his ability to finish with both his head and his feet.

  • Lee Eccles

Where will England finish:  

Perhaps before when England fans would sing the famous ‘It’s Coming Home’ it was wishful thinking, but not this summer. We’ve got every right to believe we can go all the way and many do think we will. I’m one of them. There’s no reason we can’t win the lot. A balanced midfield, solid defence and world-class attack is the perfect recipe for success, we have this. Yes, I am going to say it. It’s coming home, 

  • Tom Cayless 

I believe this England side is capable of going all the way and winning the tournament, provided they are managed properly. If England can hold their nerve in the big game, I don’t see any reason why we can’t go all the way.

  • Callum Owen

Finally, where will England finish? Well, winning our group would actually see us face a tougher opponent, most likely one of France, Portugal or Germany. On the other hand, a second placed finish would draw us against second place in Spain’s Group which I would expect to be Poland, besides the presence of Robert Lewandowski this is a side that is definitely beatable. A tough semi-final tie will see the end of Southgate’s men for the second major tournament in-a-row in my eyes.

  • Jamie Rooke

I expect this England side to win the group comfortably as our quality outshines that of opponents. However, that would mean playing the second placed team from Group F which includes the likes of Portugal, France, and Germany. This is where I see England coming unstuck just like in the World Cup if we play a team of genuine quality, I do not see us beating them.

  • Lee Eccles

Here’s to a good and successful summer. 

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