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England Daily: Thursday, June 10, 2021
Euro 2020 kicks off tomorrow as Turkey take on Italy in the tournament’s opener.
England will have to wait until Sunday to begin their tournament, as they take on Croatia at Wembley, but already the news is coming thick and fast.
Here are the five stories you need this morning. If you missed yesterday’s, you can catch up with it here.
5) Players handed legacy caps ahead of tournament beginning
England’s Euros Squad have been handed commemorative caps to celebrate their participation in Euro2020.
A unique place in #ThreeLions history 🦁
— England (@England) June 9, 2021
In a statement on the FA website, they said:
From September 2021 onwards, all senior debutants will now receive a special red velvet cap with their newly-established legacy number embroidered on the front.
To formally launch the initiative, Gareth Southgate brought his squad together on day one of their tournament base camp at St. George’s Park to present all with their own legacy caps.
The tradition had been adopted to celebrate England’s 1000th game, which took place in November 2019. However, this squad were the first players to officially receive their caps.
As legacy Lions, Chris Powell and Gareth Southgate also received legacy caps in a ceremony that brought the whole squad together.
4) Croatia not going to take the knee on Sunday
The concept of taking the knee before games in a stance against racism is, bafflingly, polarising.
England fans have booed the players in both of the pre-tournament games against Romania and Austria at The Riverside Stadium for taking the knee ahead of kick-off.
Now, it’s been confirmed that England’s first Euro 2020 opponent, Croatia, will not be taking the knee on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Croatia did not take the knee for their 1-0 defeat to Belgium on Sunday, and they have stated their intentions not to do so again during the summer tournament.
Euro 2020: Croatia ‘will NOT take a knee at Wembley ahead of opening game against England on Sunday’ https://t.co/VNEi43Xvu4
— Laurence Fox ✌🏼🇬🇧✌🏼 (@LozzaFox) June 9, 2021
3) Jack Grealish happy to “take the hits for the team”
Jack Grealish has played a starring role in both of England’s friendly victories over Romania and Austria, however it’s still unclear whether the Aston Villa star will start against Croatia on Sunday.
Grealish’s ability to carry the ball and desire to beat players means that he is often the most fouled player on the pitch.
And players that cannot stop the English creator legally often turn to fouling him in order just to stop him from threatening their goal.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Grealish said that he was happy to be targetted by opponents if it could help the team.
Grealish’s performances, if he can sustain them, could well be crucial if England are to go the distance at Euro 2020.
Equally, England’s set-pieces may need to be worked on if he is on the pitch.
2) Gareth Southgate training with four full-backs in back five
It has been a long-running joke that Gareth Southgate has an obsession with full-backs, only furthered by his decision to take four right-backs to this summer’s tournament.
Although this never came to fruition due to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury, the Telegraph now report that Southgate could nonetheless line up with four full-backs in England’s XI against Croatia.
Luke Shaw is believed to be training as a centre-back in a back three. The Man United defender could play on the left of John Stones.
To Stones’ right, Kyle Walker has played on the right of a back three before, including at the 2018 World Cup.
This would mean that Champions League winning duo Ben Chilwell and Reece James would likely be stationed on the flanks, although Kieran Trippier could well also feature.
Exclusive: Gareth Southgate could start four full-backs in Euro 2021 opener with Luke Shaw at centre-back https://t.co/OJWqdlxZfu
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) June 9, 2021
This development means both that Harry Maguire is not fit (he did not train with the squad on Wednesday), but also that Gareth Southgate has little faith in the other centrebacks (Tyrone Mings, Conor Coady or Ben White) who available to him.
With Croatia’s World Cup semi-final victory over the Three Lions still fresh in the mind, it may well be that Southgate opts for a back three against this opposition before returning to a back four against more manageable opponents.
And Kane is wearing a red bib AT THE SAME TIME as Foden 😲https://t.co/VfVGAhGxBw
— Andy (@LetsTalk_FPL) June 9, 2021
1) Mason Mount enters the Lions’ Den
Mason Mount was the latest player to feature on England’s Lions’ Den series.
The Chelsea youngster discussed his experience winning the Champions League, who would feature in his dream five a-side team, and showed off his golf skills.
When asked about his experience at St George’s Park [England’s training camp], Mount said:
“There’s a lot of stuff going on so you’re never bored. In the rooms we’ve got pictures of our families which makes it feel homely when you’re around that”
Tune in tomorrow for five more of the biggest stories surrounding the England camp this tournament.
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