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Racing Post - Euro 2020 - 2021-06-03

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‘I fancy Foden to be sensational’

EURO 2020 THE PROFESSIONAL VIEW

Danny Mills

IHOPE England do well but a lot will depend on just how fit Harry Maguire is and whether he is able to play in every game of the tournament. If Maguire is able to shake off his injury then him and John Stones will play every game in a back four, but if he has a setback or something else goes wrong Gareth Southgate must change it. Maguire being 100 per cent fit, or otherwise, changes the whole dynamic because if it is Stones alongside Tyrone Mings I don’t believe that is strong enough to win a Euros. If they are two parts of a threeman defence it gives England more of a chance. Club relationships are important at international level which is another reason why I’d go for Kyle Walker as the right-back because he already has that understanding with Manchester City colleague Stones. It helped in the 2002 World Cup that I had that partnership with Rio Ferdinand from our time at Leeds and on the other side it was exactly the same with Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole. We have a lot of excellent options at right-back but Walker is the most experienced and is the best defender and that will count for plenty in the knockout stages. The knockouts are all about being defensively solid. You can’t concede goals because they are usually low-scoring games which means more than anything else you need defensive players to keep clean sheets. Let the front four attack but everyone else needs to maintain that defensive focus. Of the forward-thinkers Phil Foden could be one of the stars of the tournament with the form he is in. He can play in three or four different positions so I am not sure where he starts but Foden has grown so much this season and really performed with goals and assists. Foden has that lovely deft of touch and is a great ball carrier. He could be sensational in the Euros but Germany are my tip to win after bringing back Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, adding crucial experience to the side.

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