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Defensive Frailties Could Derail England’s Euro 2020 Hopes

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With four wins from four games and 19 goals scored in the process, it’s all looking very comfortable in terms of England’s progress to the finals of Euro 2020 next summer.

There were limited hopes surrounding England ahead of World Cup 2018, but a run to the semi-finals then, coupled with the emergence of a young and vibrant attacking team under Gareth Southgate, has seen expectations rise ahead of Euro 2020, particularly with Wembley Stadium hosting the latter stages of the tournament.

Euro 2020 Betting

As things stand, World Cup holders France are the understandable favourites for Euro 2020 at odds of 7/2 with bet365 online bookmakers, who then go 9/2 England, followed by Belgium, Germany and Spain all at 7/1, the Netherlands at 9/1, then Italy and defending European champions Portugal at 16/1.

There are some big betting odds available there and with the vast majority of bookies offering Welcome Bonuses to new customers, now could be the time to take advantage with an early ante-post bet. A comprehensive selection of the latest betting offers can be perused at your leisure at www.freebets.com.

So dominant have England been in Group A to date, that bet365 go 1/100 on them winning the group, with the Czech Republic at 25/1 and Kosovo at 50/1. It’s not the most testing of qualifying groups, but England are certainly getting the job done.

However, there are concerns. While the Three Lions are causing mayhem in opposition defences, they haven’t been particularly convincing at the back themselves. Scoring five goals at home to Kosovo is all well and good, but alarm bells were ringing at conceding three goals to the same opposition.

Kosovo are a team on the up in international football and travelled to St. Mary’s Stadium on the back of a 15-game unbeaten run. Even so, they are still ranked 120 in the world and they don’t have a Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski or Timo Werner in their ranks.

Defensive Woes

The basic defensive errors against the likes of Kosovo can be compensated by the prolific forward line against lesser opposition but, for all the quality on display from the likes of Raheem Sterling (who has blossomed into a world class player over the past year or so), Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho, it’s unlikely to be enough against the top teams if the defence doesn’t do its job.

Michael Keane, Declan Rice and Harry Maguire were all guilty of individual errors leading to Kosovan goals. The problem is that there isn’t exactly an abundance of central defenders at Southgate’s disposal, with John Stones still to justify the hype and Joe Gomez struggling for game time at Liverpool following injury.

Gareth Southgate needs to find answers before England face a serious examination from bigger fish than Kosovo.

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