On paper, England are one of the best sides in European football but they always seem to struggle when it comes to competing in major tournaments. In the 2014 World Cup, Roy Hodgson’s men crashed out of the group stages as England suffered yet another early exit at a major competition.
This summer, Hodgson’s side will travel to France for the European Championship with renewed hope after a perfect qualifying campaign. England won all ten of their group games, scoring 31 goals and conceding just three. Ultimately, the entire squad performed well and hopefully they can carry that form into Euro 2016.
Unfortunately, England are currently dealing with a number of injuries to key players – none more so than Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. In last weekend’s Manchester Derby, he stretched for the ball and pulled up with what looked like a nasty hamstring problem and the City goalkeeper is set to spend at least one month on the side-lines.
Whilst England have competent replacements waiting in the wings, Hart’s presence and experience of major tournaments would be very useful for the younger members of the squad this summer – especially for the likes of young shot stopper Jack Butland. One of Coral’s main Euro 2016 tips is for England to win the competition at 10/1 and they will certainly stand a better chance of achieving this target with Hart in the squad.
However, goals win matches and both Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are likely to play key roles for Hodgson’s men this summer. The two England internationals are currently battling it out at the top of the Premier League scoring charts and Hodgson will have to decide which striker will lead the line.
Many believe he may opt for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy after a thrilling campaign. In fact, Vardy may follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s mantle at Sweden and try to inspire the rest of Hodgson’s squad. Ibrahimovic may have failed to make an impact on the international stage over the years but can Jamie Vardy change England’s international fortunes? Possibly so – Coral price him at 66/1 in their Euro 2016 tips for top goal scorer this summer while the Swedish striker is 22/1.
It won’t be easy but England have enough talent to challenge the likes of Germany, Spain and hosts France this summer. While Hodgson’s men have failed to inspire confidence in recent times, the new-look England side – consisting of Dele Alli, Ross Barkley and Chris Smalling – can take the national team into a new era of dominance. The Three Lions have plenty of potential and, with a bit of luck, Hodgson CAN transform that potential into a tournament-winning side this summer.by