Gareth Southgate’s side are in action at Wembley on Sunday, with former Three Lions forwards believing they can have a positive tournament
Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer are confident the talented England side can take them to the later stages of the European Championship, although they fear defensive issues may haunt the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate’s side kick off their Euro 2020 campaign on June 13 against Croatia – who knocked them out in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals – at Wembley.
The Three Lions have a number of talented young forwards, which gives hope that they are capable of a solid tournament, with Lineker and Shearer excited about the team’s potential.
What did Lineker say?
Discussing England’s chances, Lineker said Goal: “The wait is nice, I know sometimes it’s hope that kills but for the first time in a long time England have a team that can compete. I know we made it to the semi-finals there is three years old but we got a little lucky with the draw and all that, it was still a good performance.
“There can be a bit of inexperience overall and we can be a bit light in some positions – central defense and goal – but other than that we have fabulous talents at the back, in the midfield and attacking positions.
“Also, for the first time in a long time, we have strength at depth and that’s important. In what has been a long season, he [manager Gareth Southgate] can turn. People keep saying “what’s his best XI?” “I don’t think he knows himself and I don’t think there will be a consistent starting XI, especially given the talent in the advanced zones.
“I think he will be able to bring in substitutes of equal quality which will be very important. I think the future is very bright for England. This summer may be too early, but the group stage should be comfortable.
“After that, the draw will be very difficult. It could be that of France, Portugal or Germany. We will see and I think that with so much talent, they should do well.”
What did Shearer say?
Shearer said Goal asked about England’s prospects at Euro 2020: “There are still expectations with England and what we have in this country, but it could be a bit more than previous tournaments.
“We made it to the World Cup semi-finals, albeit with a more friendly course, but with the talent we have in this England side, it’s the best we’ve had in a long time.
“This is especially true in the forward positions, adding [Mason] Ascend, [Phil] Foden, [Jadon] Sancho, [Jack] Grealish and [Marcus] Rashford to Harry Kane. He’s a serious talent in this position.
“I don’t think scoring and creating goals will be a problem, but my slight concern is defense. The further we get into the tournament, can we keep them out?”
“There weren’t a lot of big things to come out of Covid, but it’s been a year and these players like Foden and Mount have another year under their belt. I think they’ll play a huge role in whatever it is. ‘England will do this summer.
“There is no doubt that these players will open the door. They have had incredible seasons and faced each other in the Champions League final. He is a serious talent and they are guys who can pick an assist. need to open defenses at this level.
“France will be favorites, and rightly so, when you look at some of the players they have in their squad. [Kylian] Mbappé, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Paul] Pogba and they just added [Karim] Benzema.
“Whoever finishes ahead of France will win, I think. I know they’re in a tough group with Germany and Portugal and maybe England will face one of those teams in the next round, considering of our group. “
Lineker and Shearer are part of the BBC football team. Follow Euro 2020 on the BBC on TV, radio and online this summer.