Friday, April 16

Destination Euro 2020: key questions for England, Scotland and Wales | Soccer


What did the coach learn from these three games? The main conclusion was the viability of returning to 4-3-3. Gareth Southgate also tried 4-2-3-1 early on against Albania, albeit with less success. He seemed married to the 3-4-3, feeling that he covered him better in case of losing key players in areas of weakness, namely the left back and defensive midfield. But the return of Luke Shaw and the continued progress of Kalvin Phillips have changed the dynamic. The same goes for John Stones’ comeback in central defense, giving Southgate more confidence to use a back four, although the Manchester City player was guilty of a terrible lapse to give away a goal against Poland.

Southgate felt Phillips was comfortable leading the defense or as a No. 8, although the Leeds player might be behind James Ward-Prowse in the pecking order for the latter role. Kyle Walker has gone from being the first option on the right of the three defenders to the first option as a right back and his flexibility increases the possibility that Southgate will choose between Reece James and Kieran Trippier for the European Championship final. Or maybe one or the other will be in central defense between Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings. Declan Rice, Mason Mount, and Phil Foden honed their reputations.

Which uninvolved players could still be on the team? Southgate missed a large number of players through injury, and of those, Jordan Pickford, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford are sure to return, assuming they are fit, while Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and possibly Harvey Barnes will battle each other. , most likely for two places. Danny Ings or Tammy Abraham would hope to be included if Southgate needed to cover Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin upfront, but Rashford could provide that option, squeezing them out. Pickford’s status as the number one goalkeeper seems assured after Nick Pope had some shaky moments with his distribution, particularly against Poland. That said, it feels harsh to judge Pope for the work he’s done with his feet when he hasn’t done anything wrong with his hands. Henderson is a concern, and Southgate said the Liverpool captain faced a fitness run that would come “near the end of the season” after groin surgery.

Jordan Henderson (left) and Marcus Rashford are sure to return to England's squad if they are fit.

Jordan Henderson (left) and Marcus Rashford are sure to return to England’s squad if they are fit. Photograph: Ian Walton / Reuters

If physical condition allows, what will be the likely starting XI and tactical approach? 4-3-3: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; J. Henderson, Rice, Mount; Rashford, Kane, Sterling.

Bankers Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Dean Henderson, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson (if he fits), James Ward-Prowse, Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford , Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Aspiring Sam Johnstone, Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings, Eric Dier, Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Harvey Barnes, Jesse Lingard, Danny Ings, Tammy Abraham.

On the periphery Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Michael Keane, Harry Winks, Callum Hudson-Odoi, James Maddison, Mason Greenwood, Ollie Watkins, Callum Wilson.


What did the coach learn from these three games?

The Che Adams chase has clearly paid off, with the Southampton striker offering more than anyone in the same position at Steve Clarke’s disposal. Adams’s move and tying game were remarkable even before the goal-backed threat of a goal against the Faroe Islands. Kieran Tierney was outstanding in all three games, dispelling any fears that a move to left center back could be problematic for the Arsenal player. David Marshall’s lack of action in Derby is cause for concern if it continues; Craig Gordon’s outstanding save in the first half against the Faroe Islands served as a reminder that he is the Scots’ most naturally talented goalkeeper, even at 38 years old.

Which uninvolved players could still be on the team? Clarke is fiercely loyal to those who comply. Nonetheless, he is a well-known fan of Bologna’s Aaron Hickey and Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour. Hickey and Gilmour have in common the need to play first-team football between now and May if they want to allow themselves the luxury of thinking about Clarke. Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths has lost his physical form of late, but would normally be a natural scoring threat for Scotland. Despite the injuries, it would be a surprise if Clarke makes a lot of changes to his team. It is a habit trainer.

Ryan Fraser scores Scotland's fourth goal against the Faroe Islands.  It has been a success story for Steve Clarke.

Ryan Fraser scores Scotland’s fourth goal against the Faroe Islands. It has been a success story for Steve Clarke. Photograph: Russell Cheyne / Reuters

If physical condition allows, what will be the likely starting XI and tactical approach? Scotland have deployed three at the rear as a recent routine, in part as a means of accommodating both Tierney and Andrew Robertson. That pair, Scott McTominay, Adams and John McGinn are safe starters in the 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 system. Still, the 4-2-3-1 deployed in the second half against Israel was perfectly fluid. Clarke is a huge fan of center-back Grant Hanley. Ryan Fraser has been a Clarke success story after international football threatened to move to the Newcastle winger.

Clarke has a pragmatic approach, which may be necessary in the final against superior teams. However, Scotland’s players offer routine indications that they do not believe in their own not inconsiderable ability. Clarke has to balance managing that talent with her own inherent tactical senses.

3-5-1-1: Marshall; Hanley, Cooper, Tierney; O’Donnell, McGregor, McTominay, McGinn, Robertson; Fraser; Adams.

Bankers David Marshall, Craig Gordon, Jon McLaughlin, Declan Gallagher, Grant Hanley, Scott McKenna, Liam Cooper, Stephen O’Donnell, Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, John Fleck, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Ryan Fraser, Oli McBurnie, Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes.

Aspiring James Forrest, Liam Palmer, Jack Hendry, Greg Taylor, Andrew Considine, Kevin Nisbet, Lawrence Shankland.

On the periphery Leigh Griffiths, Callum Paterson, Oli Burke, Ryan Porteous, Steven Naismith, Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson.


What did the coach learn from these three games? Robert Page and Albert Stuivenberg led the team on the touchline, but maintained a dialogue with Ryan Giggs throughout, as they did in November. Giggs, who watched the games remotely, will have been encouraged by his team’s lively demonstrations.

There were celebrations, namely Chris Gunter racking up a century of international matches, but also headaches for Page – three players were sent home for violating protocols and the Welsh Football Association had to plead with the German authorities to release. to the center of St Pauli. -Return to James Lawrence for victory against the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Inevitably, Lawrence was among the top performers, as Wales heroically defended for victory, and Joe Rodon seems to grow in stature with every game.

If Giggs’ situation is not cleared up by next month, at least Wales are looking good to go, with Tuesday’s match winner Daniel James giving a resounding endorsement of Page’s managerial credentials. “He and Albert have been amazing in making us understand,” James said. “That shows in games.”

Which uninvolved players could still be on the team? This is where Wales has cause for optimism. They beat Mexico, ninth in the world, with an experimental team and launched their World Cup qualification campaign without Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen, who have 176 games between them, or winger David Brooks, also absent. . injury.

Davies is expected to be on the left back but fitness concerns continue for Allen and Ramsey, who is back in training at Juventus but has started two of Wales’ last 21 games. If they match, all three are sure to play a big role this summer after memorably reaching the semi-finals in 2016.

A wild card seems unlikely at this stage, but Page has been keeping an eye out for Plymouth forward Luke Jephcott, who has 16 goals in League One this season. Wales are not blessed with forwards and a prolific end to the season can be hard to ignore.

Aaron Ramsey has only started two of Wales' last 21 games.

Aaron Ramsey has only started two of Wales’ last 21 games. Photograph: Rebecca Naden / Reuters

If physical condition allows, what will be the likely starting XI and tactical approach? Wales have had a lot of joy in a 4-2-3-1, but it looks like they will continue with the three-man defense that has served them well since November. A 3-4-3 is favored, with unlimited power from the wing providing roominess and Gareth Bale to the right of a forward three. A key decision will be whether to stick with the fake nine tested in March (playing Harry Wilson there yielded mixed results) or going for a genuine striker in the mighty Kieffer Moore.

3-4-3: Pavilion; Ampadu, Rodon, J Lawrence; C Roberts, Morrell, Ramsey, B Davies; Bale, Moore, James.

Bankers Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Joe Allen (if applicable), David Brooks, Chris Gunter, Daniel James, Danny Ward, Joe Rodon, James Lawrence, Connor Roberts, Joe Morrell, Kieffer Moore, Ethan Ampadu, Harry Wilson, Chris Mepham, Wayne Hennessey, Neco Williams.

Aspiring Ben Cabango, Jonny Williams, Tyler Roberts, Adam Davies, Matt Smith, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Tom Lawrence, Rabbi Matondo.

On the periphery Dylan Levitt, Josh Sheehan, Will Vaulks, Tom Lockyer, Brennan Johnson, Tom King, Hal Robson-Kanu, Brandon Cooper, Luke Jephcott.

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