Gareth Southgate and England have a UEFA Nations League semi final against the Netherlands to look forward to in June, but before that they kick off their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a double-header against the Czech Republic and Montenegro. Two victories will be expected from Southgate’s young but improving squad, but what else should we be looking for from these next two fixtures? Our experts have picked out five points of interest.
1. The dribblers
England will be expected to dominate possession in both of their opening Group A fixtures, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see both the Czechs and Montenegro drop deep and look to protect the space in behind. Southgate is building a young and dynamic team with raw pace in abundance, but with no space to run into this might be somewhat nullified.
Enter the dribblers, who should then have significant opportunity to receive the ball to feet and attack individuals within the opponents’ low blocks. Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford were the obvious candidates before the latter’s withdrawal from the squad to face the Czech Republic on Friday night, but Southgate also has two hugely exciting teenagers in his squad – this could be a very good chance for both Jadon Sancho (below) and the uncapped Callum Hudson-Odoi to show what they can do.