England are gearing up for the 2020 European Championships.
It feels like forever since the Three Lions completed their campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so we’re all well overdue to see Gareth Southgate’s men in action at a major tournament.
And the excitement is cranking towards fever pitch now that the England boss is set to announce the players he’ll be calling upon to make sure ‘it’s coming home’ this summer.
England at Euro 2020
Southgate is poised to name an expanded squad for Euro 2020 to give players one last chance to impress him, before ultimately setting upon his 26-man cohort for the finals themselves.
And even though Southgate will be able to take more players than usual, that hasn’t made it any easier for England fans to predict who will be on the coach for this summer’s competition.
However, we can at least be confident that the England squad will be simpler to predict right now than it would have been six years ago. Just ask BBC Sport.
The Truth: Harry Kane Transfer Update (Football Terrace)
England’s predicted XI
That’s because the boffins at the UK’s national broadcaster decided to take on the unenviable task of predicting England’s XI for this summer’s tournament before Euro 2016 had even been played.
And now that we finally have a rough idea as to how Southgate will line up his England team for the opening game with Croatia, we can put the BBC’s prediction from that long-lost year to the test.
But before we sink our knives into their forecast, be sure to check out the starting XI for yourself to see what you think of their 2015 effort:
On the whole, I think it’s a solid attempt.
A decent prediction
Besides, there’s good reason to think that Luke Shaw, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson – assuming he’s fit – will genuinely start for England at Euro 2020.
So, almost half being correct is pretty incredible going, but the XI isn’t without errors because Nathan Redmond, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere aren’t even in content for selection.
That does, of course, leave out Dier as an England player in no man’s land because the Tottenham man is likely to be chosen in Southgate’s squad, but it’s doubtful that he’d be picked to start.
On the whole, though, you’ve got to tip your hat to the BBC because a lot can change in six years of football, yet their England XI has evolved far, far less than anyone could have expected.