Countdown to Euro 2020: Daily briefing
The build-up to Euro 2020 continues as several nations prepare for their first pre-finals friendlies this week, while a few national team bosses might also have their eyes on the U21 European Championships which resumes on Monday.
With just 11 days remaining before the competition gets underway, the tension and intensity of training sessions among those who have not yet named their final squads of 26 is likely to be on the increase.
England boss Gareth Southgate is one of those who still has to make a final call, as he named a larger squad in anticipation of dealing with late arrivals from Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, with all three clubs involved in end-of-season European finals. All players seem to have emerged unscathed from those games, though there remain concerns over the fitness and availability over Harry Maguire, among others.
The biggest questions over Southgate’s final selection appear to still rest on the four-way fight at right-back, as well as which attackers are going to make the cut with Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard, Ollie Watkins and Bukayo Saka perhaps among those sweating on their final place. One of the quartet of goalkeepers will miss out, while Ben White and Ben Godfrey are also thought to be the extra defenders who are not quite yet in Southgate’s immediate plans.
Elsewhere, Wales confirmed their own full squad over the weekend and Italy trimmed their provisional squad down to 28, meaning another couple of players still have to be cut by Roberto Mancini before the deadline.
Croatia, North Macedonia and Russia are among the Euro 2020 sides who face a warm-up friendly on Tuesday, while the likes of Netherlands, Germany, world champions France and home nations England and Scotland all play on Wednesday. Follow live updates as the build-up to Euro 2020 continues.
Poulsen unconcerned by lack of goals
Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen will lead the line for Denmark at Euro 2020 in all likelihood, despite a relatively low return of goals across the 2020/21 campaign.
After just five Bundesliga goals this season he was questioned about his form – but says his role in the team is to help others find room to score.
“It has a lot to do with how we played football and set up tactically,” he told Kicker.
“The way we often played, it was up to the striker to free up space for the wingers to create chances.”
Denmark face Belgium, Finland and Russia in Group B – he’ll be hoping to add to his seven goals at international level across those fixtures.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 09:27
You may remember England crashing out at the group stage of the U21 European Championships earlier this year. Today, they resume at the quarter-final stage, with two games this afternoon and the other two tonight.
- Netherlands vs France (5pm)
- Spain vs Croatia (5pm)
- Denmark vs Germany (8pm)
- Portugal vs Italy (8pm)
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 09:21
Copa America left without hosts
Not related to Euro 2020, but at least in parallel with it.
The Copa America was also postponed last year and will take place this summer instead…if they can find somewhere to play the games. Having initially been co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina, the former was stripped of its fixtures due to anti-government protests, and the latter has now also been cast aside by Conmebol following a surge in Covid cases.
With the tournament only two weeks away, the race is on to find a host – at least the Euros, with the games scattered through major European cities, will not fall afoul of that particular problem this time.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 09:17
Set to star again?
France won the World Cup in 2018 of course and many of the same players remain invovled.
Are we to see them win again this summer? If so, N’Golo Kante is likely to be at the heart of their success – and Miguel Delaney has explained why the ball-winning Chelsea midfielder should be a Ballon d’Or contender.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 09:06
Transfers for Dutch stars must wait
Reports today from Dutch media outlet Voetbal International say that Frank de Boer is not allowing any of his squad to undertake medicals while in the national team camp.
Gini Wijnaldum, leaving Liverpool and linked with Barcelona, is among those who are thought to be looking to conclude a deal this summer – but it’s not likely to be sorted until the Dutch are out.
“Those players will have to be patient until after the tournament,” De Boer is quoted as saying.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 08:38
Wales name final 26-man squad
Wales named their chosen 26 on Sunday evening and the big surprise is Cardiff City’s Rubin Colwill.
He has played fewer than 200 minutes of senior action and has yet to win a cap, but the 19-year-old is in the squad after impressing caretaker manager Robert Page and the Wales coaches.
Hal Robson-Kanu and Rabbi Matondo were among those left out, while eight players are involved who played at Euro 2016.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 08:22
Monday’s Euro 2020 live blog and latest updates
Good morning all and welcome to The Independent’s latest live coverage of the build-up to Euro 2020, with Monday set to see further squad announcement news, match preparation for friendlies ahead of the tournament and perhaps word from a few managers over the selections, too.
Several squads have yet to be confirmed, with Turkey, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Italy all joining England in naming more than the permitted 26.
Those squads must be trimmed by tomorrow, so there are clearly a few big calls to be made today by those in charge.
As far as England go, Gareth Southgate will by now know the physical state and wellbeing of all those players who were on duty with their clubs for the Europa League and Champions League final, and will be in the last stages of finalising who he wants on the bus for the European Championships.
It’s not all about the Three Lions, though, as the entire Continent will have hopes of glory and progression on their minds this summer, whether that entails winning the competition itself or simply making history by stepping onto the pitch.
Karl Matchett31 May 2021 08:07