Euro 2021

Euro 2021: How England, Belgium, France and Germany's line-ups could change

An additional year will change the starting XIs of these tournament favourites, but by how much?

8:00am on Wednesday 2nd September 2020
By
Robin Bairner | French Football Expert

The decision to postpone Euro 2020 for a year is set to have a profound effect on the leading candidates to lift the trophy.

For some, it will allow key players to recuperate after injury, while for other nations it will mean veteran stars forced to battle on for another year or the opportunity for youngsters to develop into bona fide international-class players.

It has thrown Europe’s two-year international cycle out of place, and while it is impossible to tell exactly what implications this may hold in around 16 months’ time when the competition begins, here’s an analysis of how the leading nations could be altered.

Belgium

Standing at the top of the FIFA Ranking are Belgium, a side packed with brilliant talent and one that is expected to make serious inroads into the competition next summer. Indeed, at this point they are the favourites to win the trophy.

Roberto Martinez’s side are likely to feature in the 3-4-3 formation that they have favoured in recent times and, injuries excepting, it is not expected that they will have a significant turnover of players before the tournament begins.

29 yrs - F (LC) - Real Madrid
92
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
376
Played matches
5
0
1
Shots P90
2.63
Shots On target P90
0.96
Successful passing %
88%
Final third passes P90
34.23

Indeed, with Eden Hazard having struggled to find his feet at Real Madrid this season, Martinez will expect his ace to have come back stronger before next term.

Possible starting XI:

Belgium - Football tactics and formations

England

England are perhaps the biggest winners when it comes to the postponement of the tournament. Gareth Southgate was likely to be left sweating over key attackers Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane, and while there is no guarantee the injury situation he was facing will be any better in a year, it is surely a gamble he would be delighted to take.

Jadon Sancho will have had a year further to improve – provided his likely summer transfer does not throw him off his stride – while Declan Rice should have pinned himself down as a regular in the heart of the midfield.

85
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
2430
Played matches
27
Saves P90
2.59
Goals Conceded P90
0.81
Man of the match
1
Error lead to goal
0.04
Successful passing %
35%
Long balls P90
23.63

Elsewhere, Dean Henderson may well feature in goal, though that may be dependent on him earning him regular first-team football after a successful loan spell at Sheffield United from Manchester United this season.

Possible starting XI:

England - Football tactics and formations

France

One of the world champions’ major assets when they won in Russia two years ago was their versatility and ability to win matches in a variety of different ways. Didier Deschamps’ side may not have been the most exhilarating and did not realise the full offensive capacity of their individual talent, but the plan was to create a cohesive unit.

With that in mind, the team that plays next summer could be very different from the one anticipated now, in part due to the sheer strength in depth that Les Bleus possess.

Olivier Giroud may be a favourite of Deschamps, but another season on the periphery of things will make it even more difficult for the veteran to hold down a spot, with Wissam Ben Yedder pressing to play. Should Moussa Dembele leave Lyon for a big club, he could also feature.

29 yrs - ST (C) - Monaco
86
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
2173
Played matches
26
18
4
Shots P90
2.65
Shots On target P90
1.53
Successful passing %
75%
Final third passes P90
18.80

In midfield, Houssem Aouar will hope to be pushing for the squad while Eduardo Camavinga may also be a selection by that stage, though Adrien Rabiot’s attitude is unlikely to see him considered.

Several solutions are possible in defence, with RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and the as-yet uncapped Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City should be considered. The tournament is likely to come too soon for William Saliba but if Ferland Mendy continues to impose himself at Real Madrid, he has a chance of displacing Lucas Hernandez at left-back.

Possible starting XI:

France - Football tactics and formations

GERMANY

Joachim Low’s Germany selections have typically seen him remain loyal to his favoured team, and having made changes to get rid of a handful of members of the old guard after their spectacular flop at the 2018 World Cup, he is unlikely to be drawn into too many big alterations over the course of the next year.

Manuel Neuer will come under pressure in goal but is likely to retain his place due to the unmoving nature of the coach coupled with his real return to form, with Niklas Sule set to play in the heart of the defence after injury.

24 yrs - F (C), AM (L) - RB Leipzig
90
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
2051
Played matches
25
21
7
Shots P90
4.17
Shots On target P90
2.06
Successful passing %
77%
Final third passes P90
14.92

Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry should star in attack.

Possible starting XI:

Germany - Football tactics and formations

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