England's Euro 2024 squad: Who will Gareth Southgate take to Germany and who is sweating on their place?

James Maddison and Curtis Jones are the first England names to be cut from the provisional Three Lions squad – but who else is sweating on their place as Gareth Southgate prepares to cut his team to 26 players by Friday? Sky Sports’ Rob Dorsett gives his thoughts…

If you look at the two previous major tournaments, Southgate has taken the following split of players in his 26-man squads for Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022: Three goalkeepers, nine or 10 defenders, five or six midfielders and eight forwards.

I expect there to be a similar approach for this Euro 2024 squad, although, with all the injury problems he has in defence, it may well be that the England boss takes an extra defender as cover in that department – 10 defenders and five midfielders is a likely split.

As a result, there is more pressure than ever on his attacking players, where he is most blessed with options, but where the cull is likely to fall hardest.

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Sky Sports senior reporter Rob Dorsett outlines what the coming few days hold for England and Gareth Southgate

Much will depend on the medical reports and training/fitness statistics that Southgate and his staff are party to and which we are not. It is clear he is desperate to take Luke Shaw to the tournament, but Southgate says the Manchester United left-back is very unlikely to feature against Iceland in the final warm-up game at Wembley on Friday and so if he does travel to Germany, he will do so having not played any football at all since mid-February.

That is a huge risk, but one the England boss may take, if he thinks he can get some game time out of his best left-back during the business end of the competition.

Harry Maguire will be in the final 26, even though his calf injury is worryingly stubborn and he is unlikely to play on Friday night. John Stones should be fine when he gets some more intensity into his training and some minutes on the pitch – both of which are likely to happen this week.

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The Opta supercomputer has England as favourites to win the Euros at 19.9 per cent, just ahead of France on 19.1 per cent while hosts Germany are third favourites on 12.4 per cent

Southgate has already told Maddison and Jones they will not feature in the final squad. As things stand, I think there are three other players in the ‘red-light zone’ who are very unlikely at this stage to make the final tournament squad. They are James Trafford, Jarell Quansah and Adam Wharton. They are all young, and will have opportunities aplenty in the future.

I think there are 18 players who are in the ‘green-light zone’ who are all but guaranteed a seat on the plane for Germany.

There are not many surprises in that list, which includes the forwards: Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer; in midfield: Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, Conor Gallagher, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kobbie Mainoo; and in defence: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Marc Guehi and Ezri Konsa.

The three goalkeepers are almost certain to be: Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson.

But, in my subjective opinion, there are 10 players in the ‘amber-light zone’, with only eight places left up for grabs, who will be sweating on their inclusion come the final squad announcement on Saturday morning. This is where Southgate will be focussing his attention over the coming days.

Who is impressing him in training? Which players are most versatile and can cover several positions, or who have the best fitness stats? Which characters are integral to the squad and have a significant value off the pitch, as well as on it?

If the England manager is true to the expected final squad split by positions, it looks like there may be space for only four more defenders and four more attackers in the final tournament 26. As you can see below, while that is likely to mean there are fewer disappointed defenders come Saturday lunchtime, there may be many more forwards that have been jettisoned – with four attackers from seven to be selected.

Southgate says this is the toughest part of his job, telling players they won’t be going to a major tournament finals. He will grasp the nettle within an hour of the final whistle at Wembley on Friday night, with UEFA’s deadline at 11pm UK time. The FA will make that final squad decision public by midday on Saturday.

GREEN LIGHT

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Several names are assured of their place on the plane

Harry Kane – lacking fitness, but still England’s most important player.

Bukayo Saka – a niggling groin injury is damaging his preparation, but first choice on the right wing if fit.

Phil Foden – Premier League Player of the Season. Enough said. Only debate is whether he plays left wing or more centrally.

Cole Palmer – a standout season, with statistics to rival the best in his position. His first England goal against Bosnia cemented his place for sure.

Jude Bellingham – Champions League winner at 20 years of age, another key player if England are to go deep into the tournament. Will play No 10, despite the debates.

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England manager Gareth Southgate spoke of his delight at seeing Jude Bellingham win the Champions League with Real Madrid to cap what he describes as a ‘phenomenal year’

Declan Rice – likely to play in every England game. A stalwart in holding midfield.

Conor Gallagher – a genuine No 8, his energy levels and ability going forward and backwards are key to his selection.

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Conor Gallagher was composed in possession against Bosnia

Trent Alexander-Arnold – will be treated as a midfielder, but can step in at right-back if needed (as he did against Bosnia).

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Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a superb second on the volley from a tight angle against Bosnia

Kobbie Mainoo – impressive for Manchester United and England, especially in the final third of the season. Will battle with Alexander-Arnold and Gallagher for a starting place.

Kyle Walker – England’s greatest-ever right-back. Nailed on starter.

Kieran Trippier – may well find himself as first-choice left-back, but can cover either side.

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England defender Kieran Trippier says Gareth Southgate’s side shouldn’t be scared to say they can win the Euros in Germany this summer

John Stones – brilliant season, when selected by Pep, and will slot seamlessly into the deeper role he plays for his country again.

Harry Maguire – a key member and leader for the last three tournaments, despite the constant controversy around his selection. Fitness is a real concern.

Marc Guehi – has proved himself an able deputy, should either Maguire or Stones be unavailable. Southgate sees him as a very safe pair of hands.

Ezri Konsa – Mr Versatile, who has played left-back, right-back and centre-back in his three England caps (and all of those three in one match, against Bosnia!).

Jordan Pickford – first choice. Been there, done it, reliable.

Aaron Ramsdale – England’s No 2, despite his crippling lack of game time for Arsenal this season.

Dean Henderson – an able backup, but may well find his opportunities to play limited in Germany.

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Rob Dorsett explains England’s injury issues as five players are set to miss the game against Bosnia in Newcastle

RED LIGHT

James Trafford – twice been a part of England’s training squad. His time will come.

Jarell Quansah – breakthrough season for Liverpool, but this tournament probably comes a year too soon for the 21-year-old.

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Will Southgate take Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah to Germany?

Adam Wharton – still only 20, he’s shown staggering maturity and ability in so many Premier League games for Palace this season. But again, one for the 2026 World Cup maybe.

James Maddison – Gareth Southgate told the midfielder he won’t be part of his final Euros squad of 26.

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James Maddison was given a 30-minute cameo against Bosnia

Curtis Jones – surprise inclusion for the training squad. Undoubted quality, but Southgate will not have space to include him in his midfield options, as the Liverpool midfielder was told he will not be part of the 26-player squad.

AMBER LIGHT

Jarrad Branthwaite – came on for his England debut against Bosnia and is admired for his physicality and ability on the ball. His inclusion or otherwise may depend on medical reports for others.

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The Soccer Saturday panel discuss who is ahead between Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney to be deputy for Harry Kane in the England squad

Lewis Dunk – similar to Branthwaite, but the Brighton defender may be ahead of the his younger rival in the England pecking order – as indicated by his start at St James’s Park against Bosnia.

Joe Gomez – has been told he is being considered as cover at left-back. His inclusion may depend on whether Shaw is risked.

Luke Shaw – not played since mid-February, but so important to Southgate if he has a chance of contributing.

Ollie Watkins – would be very unlucky to miss out after his stellar season for Villa, but there may not be room for both him and Toney in the final 26.

Ivan Toney – well behind Watkins in terms of goal involvements this season, but Southgate loves the way he plays, and may be considered a more natural replacement for Kane. Key battle.

Jack Grealish – joined up early for England duty, such is his desperation to be involved, but has said publicly he is concerned he hasn’t played enough, or well enough, to earn his place.

Jarrod Bowen – was bruised after missing the final cut for the Qatar World Cup. Is on the edge again here, but has impressed everyone with his commitment and attitude.

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Following England’s 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jarrod Bowen says every time he gets the opportunity to represent The Three Lions, he does everything he can to secure his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad

Anthony Gordon – needs to prove his fitness, with an ongoing ankle problem, but was near the top of Southgate’s list of wide options, before his injury problems.

Ebe Eze – a timely man-of-the-match display against Bosnia and top of the performance stats compared with his rivals. Southgate looks at those stats and is seriously considering including the Palace forward in his final plans.

The key dates for England

All times BST

Friday June 7 – International Friendly, England vs Iceland at Wembley, kick-off 7.45pm

Friday June 7 – Final 26-player squad submitted to UEFA

Saturday June 8 – Final 26-player squad announced

Monday June 10 – England squad fly to Germany

Saturday June 16 – Serbia vs England, Gelsenkirchen, kick-off 8pm

Thursday June 20 – Denmark vs England, Frankfurt, kick-off 5pm

Tuesday June 25 – England vs Slovenia, kick-off 8pm

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