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Euros: What is England's strongest team?

England came up just short at Euro 2020, losing to Italy on penalties in the final, but they are serious contenders in Germany this summer.

Every England supporter has their own opinion on who should be in Gareth Southgate's first XI but here is our vision of England's starting line-up for the Euros:

Jordan Pickford

With Aaron Ramsdale losing his place in Arsenal's starting XI to David Raya, Jordan Pickford's status as England's number one looks even more secure.

The Everton man is a real favourite of Southgate's and he should see off competition from Ramsdale and Newcastle's Nick Pope.

Pickford has started all 19 of England's games at the last three major tournaments, producing penalty-shootout heroics against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup and conceding only twice in seven matches at Euro 2020.

Kyle Walker

Reece James's injury problems and Trent Alexander-Arnold's switch to a midfield role mean Manchester City's Kyle Walker remains the most solid option at right-back.

Both Walker and Newcastle's Kieran Trippier are the wrong side of 30 so Southgate may need to rotate his right-backs at the Euros, but the City man's pace and defensive quality give him the edge over Trippier.

John Stones

Pep Guardiola converted John Stones into a silky centre midfielder during Manchester City's 2022/23 treble-winning campaign, but the man nicknamed 'the Barnsley Beckenbauer' is more valuable as a centre-back for England.

His quality on the ball and understanding with club teammate Walker are important attributes for an England side who have racked up the clean sheets under Southgate.

Harry Maguire

Maguire's selection is a divisive issue for England fans. Having slipped down the pecking order at Manchester United and scored an own goal in September's friendly against Scotland, his place in the national team starting XI may be under threat.

However the 30-year-old is a staunch favourite of Southgate, indeed his manager has spoken in defence of Maguire in the press consistently when questioned about his inclusion. Barring injury he looks set to continue in the heart of England's defence having shown signs of getting back to his best at club level this season.

Luke Shaw

Manchester United's Luke Shaw, who scored an early opener against Italy in the Euro 2024 final, should be first-choice at left-back next summer.

Shaw has been the starting left-back for England for several years but faces competition from Chelsea's Ben Chilwell and Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier.

Kobbie Mainoo

Owing to the poor form of Kalvin Phillips since his loan move to West Ham, and Jordan Henderson yet to pull up any trees since moving to Ajax from Saudi Arabia, the time has come to move on to the next generation. While Trent Alexander-Arnold may be preferred in games where his long-range passing is needed, Mainoo may be the better option in games where England are looking to play out from the back.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice was a key figure in the engine-room during England's run to the Euro 2020 final and he has shone for club and country since then.

After captaining West Ham to Europa Conference League glory last season, Rice moved to Arsenal for £105million and his performances for the Gunners in the Premier League and Champions League have been excellent.  

Jude Bellingham

Like Rice, Jude Bellingham earned a massive summer move and he has enjoyed an extraordinary start to his Real Madrid career.

Appointed Borussia Dortmund's youngest ever captain last season, Bellingham has quickly emerged as one of the key players for Los Blancos in La Liga and the Champions League, and he was arguably England's best player at the 2022 World Cup. 

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka is one of the first names on the team sheet for Southgate's England. Blessed with pace and trickery, the 22-year-old has developed into one of the best wingers in the Premier League.

Saka has responded brilliantly to his penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final, inspiring Arsenal's surprise Premier League title challenge last season, scoring a hat-trick in England's 7-0 win over North Macedonia in June, and again playing a key role in Arsenal's title challenge this season.  

Marcus Rashford

In terms of technical ability, Phil Foden is ahead of Marcus Rashford, but when the tournament enters its latter stages and England's opposition becomes sterner, Southgate will need pace on both wings to hurt sides in transition.

Assuming England play France in the semi-finals, they'll need options down both flanks on the counter, and as superb as Foden is against low-blocks, Rashford is the man to exploit any team daring to play a high line.

Harry Kane

England captain Harry Kane left Tottenham in the summer, having become the record goalscorer for both Spurs and England during the 2022/23 campaign, and he is now tormenting Bundesliga defences with his new club Bayern Munich.

Kane scored 30 goals in his final league season at Tottenham, has struck immediately become a top marksman in the German league. The 30-year-old remains head and shoulders above any of his rivals for the England centre-forward role. 

You can use our betting hubs to see the latest Euros betting odds.

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