Euro 2020: The most likely starting XI for the eight best nations


The start of Euro 2020 is just weeks away.

Almost every nation has now named their squad for the tournament and we just can’t wait for a month-long football festival to kick off.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve analysed the squads and thought ‘yeah, they have a good chance.’

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With countries being able to name 26 players, squads are always going to look stacked with talent. But at the end of the day, only 11 players will be starting each game.

Therefore, we’ve decided to run the rule over the starting line-ups for the big eight nations. According to the bookmakers, the eight nations with a realistic chance of winning the competition are France, England, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Netherlands.

So in order of their odds, let’s take a look at each likely starting XI.


GK: Hugo Lloris

RB: Benjamin Pavard
CB: Raphael Varane
CB: Presnel Kimpembe
LB: Lucas Hernandez

DM: N’Golo Kante
CM: Paul Pogba
CM: Adrien Rabiot

RW: Antoine Griezmann
LW: Kylian Mbappe
STI: Karim Benzema

France are currently favourites for Euro 2020 – and you can see why.

The back-four is solid, with Bayern Munich duo Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard providing quality at full-back.

A midfield trio of N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabbit provides a lovely balance, with the returning Karim Benzema flanked by Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.



GK: Jordan Pickford

RB: Kyle Walker
CB: John Stones
CB: Harry Maguire
LB: Luke Shaw

DM: Declan Rice
CM: Jordan Henderson
CM: Mason Mount

LW: Phil Foden
RW: Marcus Rashford
ST: Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate has so many options but we reckon he should go 4-3-3 rather than wing-backs.

We think Kyle Walker will get the nod at right-back. If fit, Jordan Henderson should take his place in midfield as Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford play either side of Harry Kane.

That’ll mean no Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish or Jadon Sancho.



GK: Thibaut Courtois

CB: Toby Alderweireld
CB: Jason Denayer
CB: Jan Vertonghen

RM: Thomas Meunier
CM: Youri Tielemans
CM: Axel Witsel
LM: Thorgan Hazard

LW: Eden Hazard
RW: Kevin De Bruyne
ST: Romelu Lukaku

The three central defenders for Belgium may not scream European Championship winners but just look at the quality ahead of them.

Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel provide a solid base in midfield, with Thomas Meunier and Thorgan Hazard helping out both defensively and offensively.

And just look at the front three. It’s a scary thought if Eden Hazard can capture his very best form…



GK: Manuel Neuer

RB: Lukas Klostermann
CB: Niklas Süle
CB: Antonio Rudiger
LB: Marcel Halstenberg

CM: Joshua Kimmich
CM: Toni Kroos
CM: Ilkay Gündogan

RW: Leroy Sane
LW: Timo Werner

ST: Serge Gnabry

Germany have quality everywhere you look and will surely fancy their chances of winning the tournament.

A midfield three of Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gündogan is mouth-watering – and that’s with Leon Goretzka missing out.

There’s no room for Kai Havertz either, with Timo Werner, Leroy Sane either side of Serge Gnabry.



GK: Unai Simon

RB: Marcos Llorente
CB: Pau Torres
CB: Aymeric Laporte
LB: Jordi Alba

DM: Rodri 
CM: Thiago
CM: Koke 

RW: Ferran Torres
LW: Dani Olmo
ST: Alvaro Morata

This Spain squad isn’t quite as strong as we’ve seen at previous international tournaments but it’s still capable of going all the way.

Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon could get the nod ahead of David De Gea in goal while the call-up of Aymeric Laporte could be crucial.

Pedri could well take the place of Thiago in midfield but the Liverpool man finished the season brilliantly. The Barca youngster could also replace either Ferran Torres or Dani Olmo.

Alvaro Morta will lead the line.



GK: Rui Patricio

RB: Joao Cancelo
CB: Jose Fonte
CB: Ruben Dias
LB: Raphael Guerreiro

CM: Danilo Pereira
CM: Joao Moutinho
CM: Bruno Fernandes

LW: Joao Felix
RW: Bernardo Silva
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo

We can’t help but feel Portugal have a fantastic chance of upsetting the odds this summer – it’s just a shame for them they find themselves in the group of death alongside France and Germany.

Three of the back four won league titles this season, with only Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro the exception

There are plenty of options in midfield but we’ve opted for new Paris Saint-Germain signing Danilo Pereira and Wolves’ Joao Moutinho alongside Bruno Fernandes. The likes of William Carvalho, Ruben Neves and Renato Sanches are other options.

It’s a similar story in attack with Diogo Jota, Pedro Neto and Andre Silva just some of the names missing out for Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo.



GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma

RB: Alessandro Florenzi
CB: Leonardo Bonucci
CB: Giorgio Chiellini
LB: Emerson

DM: Jorginho
CM: Manuel Locatelli
CM: Nicolo Barella

RW: Federico Chiesa
LW: Lorenzo Insigne
ST: Ciro Immobile

This isn’t a vintage Italy side but could they potentially be dark horses this summer?

Their defence is full of experience with 34-year-old Leonardo Bonucci and 36-year-old Giorgio Chiellini.

There is a lovely balance in midfield with Jorginho dictating play, the all-action Nicolo Barella and the energy of Manuel Locatelli.

And there are certainly goals in front-three with Immobile leading the line.



GK: Jasper Cillessen

RB: Denzel Dumfries
CB: Matthijs de Ligt
CB: Stefan de Vrij
LB: Daley Blind

CM: Donny van de Beek
CM: Frenkie de Jong
CM: Georginio Wijnaldum

RW: Donyell Malen
LW: Memphis Depay
ST: Luuk de Jong

The Netherlands will be without their captain, Virgil van Dijk, but still have a solid defensive partnership of Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij.

Frenkie de Jong could be one of the stars of the tournament, with Donny van de Beek looking to show Manchester United fans what he’s all about – although both Davy Klaassen and Marten de Roon will be looking to take his place.

The front three is fluid and there is plenty of competition with the likes of Steven Berghuis, Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Babel all looking to play.

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