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Six reasons why England WON’T win Euro 2024

England are many people’s favourites to win Euro 2024 – here’s why Gareth Southgate’s side won’t triumph in Germany.

The Three Lions are many bookmakers’ favourites to triumph in Germany – but they have some serious flaws.

Is this it, then? Is football finally coming ‘home’? Are England about to end 58 years of hurt by returning from Germany next month with the Henri Delaunay trophy? The draw and the odds are certainly in their favour.

England are most bookmakers’ favourites to win this summer’s European Championship, just ahead of World Cup runners-up France, hosts Germany and 2016 winners Portugal in the pecking order. It’s easy to understand why, too, given the Three Lions have a cracking collection of creative talents, as well as a prolific striker in Harry Kane.

However, Gareth Southgate and his squad are not without their flaws. Indeed, for all of the usual optimism surrounding England ahead of a major international tournament, many of the failings that prevented them from winning Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup have not gone away.

Below, GOAL outlines why the Three Lions WILL NOT triumph in Germany…

Lack of left-backs

Luke Shaw only made 15 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United last season. Worse still, he hasn’t played a single minute of competitive football since February 18. And yet he’s the only orthodox left-back in England’s squad, which is both a damning indictment of the options available to Southgate and a serious source of concern going into the Euros.

Given the weakness of their group, England should get away with fielding a right-footer on the left-hand side of the defence in the first round, affording Shaw time to work on his match fitness. But what happens if he’s not fully up to speed by the time the Three Lions face a quality team, such as France? Would you really have any faith in the error-prone Kieran Trippier or a converted centre-back like Joe Gomez or Ezri Konsa adequately dealing with Ousmane Dembele?

Shaw is said to be “progressing well” in his recovery from his hamstring problem, but if he’s not at 100 percent by the time the knockout stage rolls around, England will be seriously compromised at left-back – both from a defensive and offensive perspective. His fragile physical condition could prove the difference between success and failure at a wide-open tournament likely to be decided by fine margins.

Soft centre

How weak are England in the centre of defence? Well, the unavailability of Harry Maguire through injury constitutes a hammer blow. Yes, the situation is that dire.

With Maguire’s participation having been in doubt from the moment his season was brought to a premature end by a calf problem, Southgate sought desperately to find alternatives. He called up pretty much every eligible centre-back in England for his preliminary squad.

The hope remained that Maguire would recover in time to travel to Germany, but when it emerged that the 31-year-old had little hope of being fit to play any part in the group stage, Southgate was forced to cut one of his most reliable servants. Indeed, for all Maguire’s faults – and he has many – he was one of England’s better players at the 2022 World Cup, so his absence represents a major headache for Southgate.

Marc Guehi is likely to fill the void alongside John Stones at heart of the defence, which is hardly reassuring. Crystal Palace centre-back Guehi is untested at this level – he’s started just six competitive fixtures for England – while Stones featured for just 21 minutes of Manchester City’s final seven games of the Premier League season.

If Stones isn’t sharp enough for a major tournament, Lewis Dunk, Konsa or Gomez could come into the starting line-up… They say that defences win titles – for England’s sake, that better not be true!

No cover for Kane

Southgate said before the friendly against Iceland that he was unlikely to start Ivan Toney up front as his priority was getting Harry Kane “right” for Euro 2024, with the Bayern Munich star having missed the end of the season with a niggling back problem.

Kane did come off the bench – and score – in the preceding game against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it’s clear that the former Tottenham striker is not exactly at 100 percent now. Southgate will, thus, be praying that Kane does not suffer a setback at any stage over the next month, as the 30-year-old is utterly irreplaceable.

Ollie Watkins is a wonderful, all-around attacking talent coming off the back of a fine season at Aston Villa, but did not impress in the Bosnia game and doesn’t yet boast anything like the same quality and experience as his captain. Toney, meanwhile, is one of the most overrated players in the Premier League and is absolutely blessed just to have made the squad, having missed the first half of the season through suspension and scored just four times in the second.

England may have a plethora of options in attack, but any injury issue for Kane would be an absolute disaster.

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