Who are the outsiders at EURO 2020?
After a year-long wait, it's finally time for the EURO 2020. As always a lot of people will try to predict the outcomes of the matches and ultimately predict who is gonna win it. But who are the outsiders to win it this year? Will it be Italy, England, or Belgium that is going to surprise us this tournament?
This will be the last of the three long-reads in total, where we are going to take a look at the outsider for the European Championship and that we expect to perform this year. We have now talked about Italy & Belgium and to close it off we will take a look at the English squad
England arguably has their strongest side in a decade and expectations for the team are very high off the back of their 4th place at the 2018 World Cup. In the past, they have often crumbled when expectations are high, so it will be interesting how the current England squad will hold under this pressure. According to data from Hypercube England has a 9.5% chance to win the tournament.
Southgate has a very young and talented squad at his disposal, with multiple superstars pushing for the same position. It will be very interesting to see who Southgate ends up choosing. In the article, we will look at each position and see who should be a contender based on the statistics that are available.
During the friendly against Austria Alexander-Arnold got injured, this is a huge blow to the squad. Luckily England has a lot of talent to back up the position with Champions league finalists Reece James and Kyle Walker. Out of the two right-backs, Walker is the most experienced one however, James is well on his level right now. If we look at the stats of both players we see that James is a little better in defending and Walker is better in possession and the passing game. It will be interesting to see who Southgate is going to start at right-back
Another position with a lot of competition is the left-back position with both Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell being contenders to the spot. Both of them got featured in our blog about the top 10 best left-backs in the world which you can read here. Both players have similar stats, however, we expect Chilwell to start after him winning the Champions League with Chelsea.
Harry Maguire also missed England's training yesterday, so he might not be fit in time for England's opener against Croatia next Sunday.
England has an insanely talented midfield full of young talents. Southgate can choose between Mount, Bellingham, Rice, Henderson, and Phillips.
To find out who should play in the midfield, we decided to take a more in-depth look at England's midfielders. We will start off by looking at how they are at dribbling to find the more attacking players and after that, we take a look at duels.
Dribbling vs percentage successful
In the scatterplot, we instantly see that Mount and Bellingham are the most attacking players on the team. With a high number of dribbles per game and a good success rate, they are able to create space on their own on the midfield. Their dribbling ability allows them to push up the field themselves so they can create a dangerous opportunity for the team. On the other side, we see Henderson with a low amount and success rate, this doesn't surprise us. Henderson is a more defensive player and will be looking to keep the balance on the midfield next to playmakers like Mount and Bellingham.
Losses vs recoveries
We also looked at losses vs recoveries to find out who are the more defensive-minded players. In the scatterplot, we can see that Rice is the most defensive player on the team, with a high number of recoveries and a low number of losses. We also see that Henderson and Phillips score well when it comes to recoveries, but they also lose the ball more often. when England is playing a more difficult game we would not be surprised to see Rice on the field to keep the defensive balance on the team.
Harry Kane is the main striker in the squad and we will not be surprised if he starts every game, in Calvert-Lewin they do have an excellent backup striker just in case.
It will be interesting to see who Southgate is going to play on the wings. He can choose between Rashford, Sterling, Sancho, Grealish, Foden, and Saka. All of them are great players, Southgate will probably pick the players who are going to work best with Harry Kane as a striker. We predict that it is going to be Sterling and Foden as they played in the position during recent matches, so they will have some experience in working with Kane.