Harry Maguire was back in team training with England on Thursday ahead of their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia at the weekend.

All 26 members of Gareth Southgate's squad took part in the session at St George's Park as preparations for Sunday's game at Wembley continued.

Maguire has not played since May 9, when he damaged ankle ligaments during Manchester United's 3-1 Premier League win away to Aston Villa.

The centre-back missed United's final four league games of the season, in which they lost at home to Leicester City and Liverpool, drew with Fulham and won at Wolves.

He also sat out the Europa League final against Villarreal, which the LaLiga side won on penalties following a 0-0 draw in Gdansk.

Speaking last week, Southgate said it would be "tight" for Maguire to be considered fully fit for the match against Croatia after he also missed England's warm-up friendlies with Austria and Romania.

However, the Three Lions boss insisted it was right to include the former Leicester defender in the group, saying: "I think he's such a good player and we had the additional size of squad, the fact that that leadership which is growing in him all the time, we wanted to take that opportunity to bring him into the squad."

England, who are in Group D, also face Scotland on June 18 and the Czech Republic on June 22.

 

James Anderson's incredible career will reach a new high when he becomes England's most-capped Test player at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The indefatigable seamer will surpass his former team-mate and close friend Alastair Cook's tally of 161 appearances in the longest format when he faces New Zealand in the second and decisive final Test of the series.

Anderson, who turns 39 next month and is seventh on the list of most capped players from any country, will break the record 18 years after making his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's.

Stats Perform looks at some of the astonishing numbers the evergreen Lancastrian has racked up, including a staggering 30 five-wicket hauls and at least 10 wickets in a match on three occasions.

Record-breaking seamer closing in on Kumble

Anderson surpassed the record held by Australia great Glenn McGrath for the most wickets taken by a Test seamer when he dismissed India's Mohammed Shami in 2018.

McGrath claimed 563 scalps in an outstanding career but Anderson's haul now stands at 616.

England's record Test wicket-taker is only three wickets shy of matching Anil Kumble's total and will go third on the all-time list when he betters the former India spinner's haul.

 

A menace against India

Anderson's ability to generate deadly swing and seam has caused many India batsmen problems over the years.

He has taken more Test wickets against India than any other side, with 118 from 30 matches at an average of 25.29 - including four five-wicket hauls.

Fierce rivals Australia are next on the list of teams Anderson has taken the most wickets against, with 104 in 32 Ashes contests at 34.56 apiece.

 

Lethal at Lord's

Anderson announced himself on the Test stage by taking 5-73 on debut at Lord's in Zimbabwe's first innings back in May 2003.

He has thrived on playing at the Home of Cricket, taking 105 wickets in 24 Tests at the world-famous London ground at an average of 24.64

Only Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan has claimed more on a single venue, doing so at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo (166), Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy (117) and Galle International Stadium (111).

 

Living on the edge

Anderson has had more batsmen caught behind than any bowler in Test history.

As many as 168 of Anderson's dismissals have been taken by the wicketkeeper, which is 27.27 per cent of his wickets.

McGrath is next on the list with 152, while team-mate Stuart Broad has got batsmen to nick off on 124 occasions.
 

Record a batsman would be proud of

Anderson is certainly not known for his ability with the bat, despite being dubbed 'The Burnley Lara'.

Yet he went 54 Tests innings before being out for a duck, finally departing without troubling with scorers against Australia in August 2009.

AB de Villiers (78), Aravinda de Silva (75), Clive Lloyd and Ross Taylor (both 58) are the only men to have had more knocks without departing for nought.

Predicting the winner of a major international tournament is a natural part of being a football fan, even if it can sometimes be something of a fool's errand – as proven by Greece and Denmark.

But considering how integral statistics are to football these days, using data could potentially give you the edge, and that's where Stats Perform comes in.

Our Artificial Intelligence team have used Opta's extensive data reserves to quantify each team's chances of winning the entire tournament.

Every match has been run through the Stats Perform Euros Prediction model to calculate the estimated probability of the outcome (win, draw or loss). This uses odds from betting markets and Stats Perform team rankings, which are based on historical and recent performances.

It takes into consideration the strength of each team's opponents as well as the difficulty of their respective paths to the final, plus the make-up of the groups and any relevant seedings heading into the knockouts.

Then, the rest of the tournament is simulated 40,000 times and analysed, providing the AI team with a percentage for each nation, showing the probability of them ultimately lifting the trophy at Wembley on July 11.

Without any further ado, let's check out the results, some of which may come as something of a surprise…

MOST-LIKELY WINNERS: France (20.5 per cent)

Well, this one probably isn't much of a shock. Anyone who has looked through the squad at Didier Deschamps' disposal has likely come to the conclusion that Les Bleus will have to implode a la the 2010 World Cup if they're to be beaten.

Most of the key players from their 2018 World Cup-winning squad are present, and now they can call upon the services of Karim Benzema again, which is no small thing.

 

Our model also gives France a 46.8 per cent chance of finish top of the so-called 'Group of Death', which also includes defending champions Portugal and a Germany side desperate for redemption after World Cup humiliation in Russia.

If France are successful, Deschamps will become the first man in history to win the World Cup and Euros as both a player and manager.

2. Belgium (15.7 per cent)

Could this be the last-chance saloon for Belgium's 'Golden Generation'? Our predictor model certainly suggests they're still in with a great chance of winning the title, with their 15.7 per cent the second highest.

They have the joint-oldest squad at the tournament (29.2 years) along with Sweden, so while they're certainly not a young team, several of their best players are right at the peak of their powers, with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku coming into the tournament arguably in the form of their lives.

 

They looked sharp in qualifying – for what it's worth – with a 100 per cent win record and a 40-goal haul that wasn't matched by any other team, while they will be strong favourites to win their group ahead of Russia, Denmark and Finland.

3. Spain (11.3 per cent)

Now, one thing our model cannot take into consideration is a coronavirus outbreak. La Roja had to field their Under-21s for the senior side's final pre-Euros warm-up game against Lithuania – while it means nothing for their chances at the tournament, they did ease to a 4-0 win.

It remains to be seen if there are any further consequences of Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente testing positive for COVID-19, but if we assume Luis Enrique is able to rely on a squad that's more or less the selection he initially picked, they will at least be strong options to reach the latter stages.

Although perhaps not blessed with the kind of 'superstar' talent they've had at other tournaments over the past 15 years or so, they do have a highly regarded coach and beat Germany 6-0 as recently as November. Nevertheless, their disrupted build-up to the tournament could be telling when their campaign starts.

4. Germany (9.8 per cent)

Joachim Low's going to have to upset the odds if he is to enjoy one last hurrah with Die Mannschaft. The World Cup-winner coach is stepping down a year early after the Euros, with Hansi Flick set to take over.

Having the likes of Thomas Muller back in the squad after a stunning couple of seasons with Bayern Munich will surely improve their chances – though our model doesn't take player data into account.

 

The predictor will see that Germany have failed to beat Denmark and North Macedonia in two of their three most recent games, while they also have a particularly hard group.

5. Portugal (9.6 per cent)

The other major footballing power from the 'Group of Death' – our predictor suggests Portugal are the least likely of themselves, France and Germany to win Euro 2020.

Nevertheless, La Selecao will surely feel good about themselves heading into the competition. Their squad is arguably significantly better than the one that won Euro 2016, while coach Fernando Santos is a shrewd operator.

They also have this chap up front called Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one away from setting a new record for the most goals (10) in European Championship history.

THE REST OF THE FIELD

According to our predictor, a resurgent Italy and Netherlands are the next most likely to win the tournament, which would represent a rather good turnaround from missing out on the 2018 World Cup – in fact, the Oranje weren't at Euro 2016 either.

At this point there are probably many of you pondering – assuming you've not just scrolled straight down to the list – about England's chances.

Well, the Three Lions' ranking here is a prime example of how a good draw can really pay. While they should – in theory, at least – have more than enough firepower to get out of a group that also contains Croatia, neighbours Scotland and Czech Republic, their route to the final would almost certainly see them come up against one – or more – of Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. They're also probably not helped by the fact they've played more Euros games (31) without reaching the final than any other team.

England's 5.2 per cent chance of success sees them behind Denmark (5.4 per cent), whose path to the final would likely be a little kinder, though the caveat is that the Three Lions could potentially play the vast majority of their matches on home soil at Wembley.

Tournament debutants North Macedonia are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the least likely to win Euro 2020, with their chances rated at 0.02 per cent.

 

6. Italy (7.6 per cent)

7. Netherlands (5.9 per cent)

8. Denmark (5.4 per cent)

9. England (5.2 per cent)

10. Switzerland (2.3 per cent)

11. Sweden (1.5 per cent)

12. Croatia (1.0 per cent)

13. Russia (1.0 per cent)

14. Poland (0.8 per cent)

15. Ukraine (0.8 per cent)

16. Wales (0.6 per cent)

17. Turkey (0.4 per cent)

18. Czech Republic (0.2 per cent)

19. Austria (0.2 per cent)

20. Finland (0.1 per cent)

21. Hungary (0.1 per cent)

22. Scotland (0.1 per cent)

23. Slovakia (0.04 per cent)

24. North Macedonia (0.02 per cent)

Joe Root is hoping England's Test team respond positively amid scrutiny of their behaviour, with the ECB currently investigating several players for historic social media posts.

Ollie Robinson's Test debut at Lord's last week was marred when offensive Twitter posts by the paceman – posted in 2012 and 2013 – were highlighted.

The 27-year-old had an impressive debut on the field in the series-opening draw with New Zealand, but is now suspended while the ECB conduct an investigation.

It has subsequently been reported that posts from several England players across the Test and one-day set-ups are also being looked into.

However, Root is now hoping for a full switch of focus back to the matter at hand, which is England attempting to clinch a series win over the Black Caps at Edgbaston.

"We want to move forward in a really positive way," Root told BBC Sport.

"We've had to face up to some ugly truths this past week or so and there will be challenges moving forward.

"But the group of players we have now is very much committed to moving the game forward, to making it a better place, making it more inclusive and educating ourselves further.

"We're going to have to front up to what has happened, but ultimately we want to move forward in a really positive way, to keep going on this journey we've started of trying to better our sport.

"We will continue to do that because that's how we all feel."

A near-capacity crowd of 17,000 will be allowed at Edgbaston as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, and Root is aiming to put on a show for the spectators, after his team received some criticism for holding out for a draw on the final day at Lord's, rather than attempt to mount a 273-run chase.

"We're all very aware we're in the entertainment business," Root, who wants to dispel any notion of his team being negative, told reporters.

"We all want to be part of those games, those special games that provide that entertainment. They're the ones that you remember.

"The ones that stick in my mind are the World Cup final, Headingley, Cape Town – the ones that go to the wire, they're the ones you remember as a player, and want to have big contributions in.

"I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision [at Lord's]. We've turned up here with an opportunity to win the series, albeit it is not part of the Test championship, but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group.

"We're very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we'll definitely look to be aggressive.

"I don't want us to be considered a negative team who play a boring brand of cricket.

"We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket and hopefully that will come to light this week."

England boss Gareth Southgate has hit back at suggestions he and his players should "stick to football" amid debate over their decision to take the knee before games.

The Three Lions' squad and staff have shown their support for the global movement to eradicate racism by kneeling prior to recent fixtures.

However, boos and jeers were heard from sections of the crowd when England offered up the gesture prior to European Championship warm-up games against Romania and Austria.

That backlash has prompted a debate over whether Southgate and his squad should be supporting a movement that is considered political in some quarters.

But the England manager pushed back on that idea in a stirring pre-tournament column for the Players' Tribune.

He wrote: "Our players are role models. And, beyond the confines of the pitch, we must recognise the impact they can have on society. 

"We must give them the confidence to stand up for their teammates and the things that matter to them as people.

"I have never believed that we should just stick to football.

"I know my voice carries weight, not because of who I am but because of the position that I hold. At home, I'm below the kids and the dogs in the pecking order but publicly I am the England men's football team manager. I have a responsibility to the wider community to use my voice, and so do the players.

"It's their duty to continue to interact with the public on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice, while using the power of their voices to help put debates on the table, raise awareness and educate."

The topic of abuse on social media – particularly racial abuse – has also been widely discussed in the aftermath of a recent uptick in such incidents.

Southgate admits he does not understand why his high-profile players engage with such platforms but remains certain that those who troll them are on the "losing side" of the battle.

"Social media has been a key resource in giving our players a platform and has been a positive tool in so many ways," he added.

"In fact, I feel like this generation of England players is closer to the supporters than they have been for decades. Despite the polarisation we see in society, these lads are on the same wavelength as you on many issues.

"That said, there are times when my parental instincts kick in. I can't help it. After all, I'm old enough to be a father to most of my players!

"I see players scrolling on their phones straight after the final whistle and I think … Hmmm, is that a particularly good idea? 

"Reading abusive comments on Twitter or Instagram is never going to help performance. 

"There are genuine risks for our players online and I will always want to protect them, but I would never put rules on how or when they use their accounts while on England duty. I trust them and know they are mature enough to make their own decisions, to do what's right for their mental health and to keep being a force for good as we strive for a better society.

"The last 18 months have put added pressure on everyone, I know. Venting that might have taken place while walking out of the stadium, or in the pub has been transferred online. I get that. However, there are things I will never understand.

"Why would you tag someone in on a conversation that is abusive? 

"Why would you choose to insult somebody for something as ridiculous as the colour of their skin?

"Why?

"Unfortunately for those people that engage in that kind of behaviour, I have some bad news. You're on the losing side. It's clear to me that we are heading for a much more tolerant and understanding society, and I know our lads will be a big part of that.

"It might not feel like it at times, but it's true. The awareness around inequality and the discussions on race have gone to a different level in the last 12 months alone. 

"I am confident that young kids of today will grow up baffled by old attitudes and ways of thinking."

James Anderson says Ollie Robinson has the "full support" of the England team after he was suspended from international cricket for sending historic racist and sexist tweets.

Offensive social media posts by Robinson in 2012 and 2013 came to light while he was making his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord's last week.

Robinson made a public apology following day one of a match he ended with an impressive seven wickets, also making an important 42 with the bat.

The 27-year-old will not play in the second Test at Edgbaston as he was sent back to his county, Sussex, by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and must await the verdict of a disciplinary investigation.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said the ECB had "gone over the top" by suspending Robinson, sentiments that were later echoed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It emerged on Monday that a second unnamed England player is under investigation for a historical racist tweet.

Anderson, poised to become England's most-capped Test player by making his 162nd appearance for his country against the Black Caps at Edgbaston this week, says Robinson has the backing of his team-mates and has learned from his mistakes.

Asked if Robinson's apology had been accepted, the seamer said: "I think it's been accepted, he stood up in front of the group and apologised.

"You could see how sincere and upset he was. I think as a group we appreciate he is a different person now. He's done a lot of maturing and growing since then and he's got the full support of the team."

Anderson said he did feel let down by Robinson, who must now wait to discover whether further action will be taken.

"I wouldn't say let down," said England's leading Test wicket-taker. "The tweets coming 10 years ago, obviously there was initial shock with the language that was used but his remorse was sincere.

"He's definitely changed as a person, he's definitely going to improve and learn from these mistakes."

Anderson revealed the ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) had put on workshops to educate players over important issues such as racism.

He said: "It's a difficult time but as players we are trying to learn from this. We realise it's important to try and get educated around these issues, which we are continuing to do with the ECB and PCA.

"We've already been doing workshops before this series to try and help improve ourselves as people, to try and make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen."

Ben White has been named as the replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold in the England squad for Euro 2020.

The Brighton and Hove Albion defender has been added to the 26-man group after Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold was forced to withdraw due to a thigh injury.

White played the full match as England beat Romania 1-0 in Middlesbrough on Sunday in their final warm-up friendly ahead of the tournament.

The 23-year-old offers versatility to Gareth Southgate's squad and is said to have impressed the man in charge by being comfortable both in defence and as a holding midfielder.

James Ward-Prowse, who caught the eye against Romania, had been tipped by some to take Alexander-Arnold's place.

The inclusion of White has prompted concerns about the fitness of Harry Maguire, who continues to recover from an ankle injury and is not expected to be available for England's Group D opener against Croatia on June 13.

White played 36 times in his first full Premier League season with Brighton in 2020-21 and was named the club's player of the year by fans.

England manager Gareth Southgate seemed unimpressed by Jordan Henderson's decision to take a penalty – which he ultimately missed – off Dominic Calvert-Lewin in Sunday's 1-0 win over Romania.

The Three Lions were in action for the last time ahead of Euro 2020, with England set to face Croatia at Wembley next Sunday.

Marcus Rashford scored the winning goal with a cool spot-kick after the excellent Jack Grealish had been hauled down.

But Henderson, a half-time substitute, was unable to follow suit as Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita saved his penalty late on following a clumsy Vlad Chiriches foul on Calvert-Lewin.

The Everton striker was expected to take the kick, but Henderson – playing for the first time in 106 days – stepped up as he looked to score his first senior England goal.

His failure was not punished by Romania, though Southgate suggested he will be having words with Henderson.

"We had Marcus Rashford on penalties, then James Ward-Prowse but both came off," Southgate explained to ITV.

"I was expecting Dominic to take it and when Hendo walked over I thought he was making sure that happened, so I will have to check Hendo's thought process."

When it was put to Southgate that Henderson had pulled rank as captain, Southgate replied with a smile: "We will pull rank next time."

Otherwise it was a largely unremarkable match and performance from England, who were perhaps fortunate to get their victory such were the quality of some of the Romanian chances.

"Yes, we had chances to make it more comfortable but so did they, the first half we did not work hard enough without the ball, we were too stretched and did not press well," Southgate added.

"After half-time, I thought we improved and it was helpful. We went to 4-3-3 later and I have to say it was a good exercise, players needed the minutes and learned a lot from the game. It was good to win."

There was no Sunday drama at Lord's on this occasion as England dug in for a drab draw in the first Test against New Zealand.

On the same ground where England beat the Black Caps in an incredible ICC World Cup final two years ago, Kane Williamson's side were unable to force a final-day victory.

The tourists set Joe Root's home team 273 to win when they declared on 169-6 at lunch, but New Zealand could not take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series as Dom Sibley ground out an obdurate unbeaten 60.

Root (40) also frustrated New Zealand, with England showing no intention of chasing down their target and they were 170-3 when the two captains shook hands after 7pm in London, so both sides will head to Edgbaston next week in the hunt to win the series.

Nightwatchman Neil Wagner was removed by Ollie Robinson early in the day after the tourists resumed chasing quick runs on 62-2 and New Zealand were 105-4 when Stuart Broad trapped Tom Latham (36) leg before.

Ross Taylor made a brisk 33 from 35 balls, hitting Robinson and Mark Wood for six, before edging the latter behind, and Henry Nicholls was dismissed by Root for 23.

Williamson declared after lunch was taken slightly early due to a shower, but a breakthrough proved to be elusive at first when play resumed.

It was Wagner who came into the attack to end an opening stand of 49, Tim Southee holding on at second slip after the seamer drew an edge from Rory Burns (25).

England were 56-2 just before tea with Zak Crawley sent on his way by Southee for two, and the impressive Wagner ended a third-wicket stand of 80 by snaring Root lbw, but New Zealand could not see the back of Sibley or Ollie Pope (20 not out).

 

Broad ends long Test drought

There was relief for England paceman Broad when he ended a long wait for a Test wicket in the morning session.

Broad did not add to his impressive tally of Test scalps in the series defeat in India and his dismissal of Latham was his first in the longest format for 81.2 overs. Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews was his previous victim in January.

Positive Williamson declaration not rewarded as Sibley returns to form

The draw left New Zealand still with only one Test victory at Lord's, which came back in July 1999. Williamson's positive declaration did not pay dividends as England ground out what was ultimately a drab draw.

It was a welcome return to form for the stubborn Sibley, who faced 207 balls as he showed great application after falling for a duck in the first innings.

England beat Romania 1-0 thanks to a Marcus Rashford penalty in their final pre-Euro 2020 warm-up match but the game was once again marred by supporters booing the Three Lions for taking the knee.

Fans jeered England players for showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement at the start of the 1-0 win over Austria earlier in the week, and despite Gareth Southgate clearly explaining on Saturday that his team's gesture was motivated by racial injustice rather than politics, boos were clearly audible once more at the Riverside Stadium.

Potentially deflated by those fans' blatant disregard for the team's feelings, perhaps England's rather subdued start in Middlesbrough had a straightforward explanation, with Southgate's side not posing much of a threat until Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jadon Sancho hit the crossbar after the half-hour mark.

The visitors looked as much of an attacking threat as England, but good work from Jack Grealish earned a penalty with 22 minutes to go and Rashford – captain for the day – converted with aplomb, with Jordan Henderson unable to follow suit from the spot a little later.

Romania looked much sharper than England initially, with Denis Alibec shooting just wide of the top-right corner and Razvan Marin firing at Sam Johnstone following a flowing move.

Florin Nita in the visitors' net had very little to do before having the bar come to his rescue in the 32nd minute, keeping out a ferocious Calvert-Lewin header, and then again six minutes later as Sancho's bending effort following a clever offload by Grealish had left the goalkeeper looking helpless.

But Romania still posed a threat at the other end, with Deian Sorescu testing Johnstone after being released in behind the suspect Tyrone Mings.

An encouraging aspect was the performance of Rashford, who after a difficult spell at club level, did well in the 62nd minute as he collected Calvert-Lewin's lay-off and burst into the Romania half before shooting wide on the stretch after a lung-busting run.

Rashford was decisive soon after, however, coolly slotting in a penalty after Grealish – who was fouled on five occasions more than anyone else – found himself tripped by Tiberiu Capusa.

Henderson, introduced at half-time for his first outing since February, passed up the chance to make it 2-0 from the spot as Nita saved his kick following a foul on Calvert-Lewin by Vlad Chiriches.

That came hot on the heels of Johnstone producing a wonderful stop to thwart Andrei Ivan, with England ultimately settling for the 1-0 win.

Euro 2020 is just days away, and that means the rumour mill is about to go into overdrive.

International tournaments always represent something of a showcase for clubs seeking reinforcements and this year will be no different, even if the impact of the pandemic means spending may not quite reach levels of old.

There will be several players eager to impress at these finals: some will be long-term targets out to justify the hype, while others will be seeking a new challenge as contracts begin to wind down.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform has compiled a list of some of the candidates vying to be front and centre of this particular shop window...

 

Belgium: Jeremy Doku

One of Belgium's less-known attacking stars, Jeremy Doku was directly involved in 10 goals in the Jupiler League by the time he was 18 years and 115 days old, a record bettered only by Romelu Lukaku.

Previously wanted by Liverpool, the Rennes forward could become a target for Jurgen Klopp – thought to be exploring new attacking options – should he be given the chance to impress by Roberto Martinez.

Croatia: Bruno Petkovic

"Bruno Petkovic has to be at Euro 2020 what [Mario] Mandzukic was in Russia," said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic last month. No pressure, then.

Still, the Dinamo Zagreb forward impressed in last season's Europa League with four goals in nine starts and could represent a relatively low-cost option in the market.

England: Jadon Sancho

The star performer as Borussia Dortmund won the DFB-Pokal final, Jadon Sancho was the first English player since David Beckham 20 years ago to register at least 10 assists for three seasons in a row in Europe's top-five leagues.

Manchester United continue to be mooted as the winger's most likely destination should he leave Dortmund, but a star turn at the Euros could trigger a bidding war among some of the biggest clubs.

France: Jules Kounde

Getting into the France starting line-up is no easy task these days, but Jules Kounde could well force Didier Deschamps' hand given the qualities he brings to centre-back.

An accomplished stopper, the Sevilla man is also impeccable on the ball: he made 887 forward passes in LaLiga last season, the most of any outfield player. Little wonder that Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked.

Germany: Florian Neuhaus

Given he has been linked with Bayern Munich for months now, Florian Neuhaus must be doing something right.

The 108th Germany debutant under Joachim Low, the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder could well find himself in high demand in the transfer window should he earn a regular spot at the Euros.

Italy: Manuel Locatelli

The heartbeat of a vibrant Sassuolo side, Manuel Locatelli in January became the first Italian player born after January 1, 1998 to record 10 Serie A assists.

Juventus are considered his likely next destination, but there are reports of interest from the Premier League, which would likely only increase in number should he shine at the Euros.

Netherlands: Memphis Depay

It appears likely Memphis Depay will leave Lyon for Barcelona on a free transfer, but, as long as that deal is not concluded, other clubs may sense the chance to snap up the forward.

Depay just became the first Lyon player to register at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a single Ligue 1 season since at least 2006-07 and looks like one of the Oranje's form players.

Poland: Kacper Kozlowski

At just 17, Kacper Kozlowski has established himself in the Pogon Szczecin first team, something made all-the-more remarkable given he was badly injured in a car crash in January 2020.

Although a name not well known outside Poland, the midfielder has been scouted by Manchester United and interest across the continent could well pick up after this tournament.

 

Portugal: Nuno Mendes

Considered one of Portugal's brightest prospects, Nuno Mendes has already been linked with the Manchester clubs after shining for Sporting CP.

Interest in the 18-year-old is only likely to increase should he perform well at the Euros, especially if he ousts Raphael Guerreiro from the side, and Sporting would surely be prepared to sell for a handsome fee.

 

Russia: Denis Cheryshev

Zero goas in 21 games for Valencia in LaLiga last season underlined a frustrating spell for Denis Cheryshev at club level.

The 30-year-old was Russia's star performer at the World Cup three years ago, though, and the Euros offer a good chance to tempt any possible suitors as he considers his future.

Spain: Pau Torres

Pau Torres was at the heart of Villarreal's Europa League triumph. In fact, he made nine appearances without being dribbled past, a single-season tally only bettered twice in the competition's history.

The centre-back has made it clear he is happy at the club, but strong performances for Spain could tempt suitors including Manchester United to test Villarreal's resolve to keep him.

Sweden: Alexander Isak

Linked with Barcelona during the season, Real Sociedad's Alexander Isak broke Zlatan Ibrahimovic's record for most goals by a Swede in a single LaLiga campaign by scoring 17 in 2020-21.

With Ibrahimovic missing these finals due to injury, 21-year-old Isak has a good opportunity to impress on the international stage.

Switzerland: Denis Zakaria

With his contract expiring next year, Denis Zakaria could be a more affordable midfield signing for any clubs willing to tempt Borussia Monchengladbach into a sale.

The 24-year-old offers great variety to the Switzerland midfield and English sides are expected to be watching him closely at these finals.

Ukraine: Ruslan Malinovskiy

Ruslan Malinovskiy is another Atalanta player to catch the eye under Gian Piero Gasperini. He was directly involved in a goal every 94 minutes in Serie A in 2020-21, the most of any midfielder to play at least 15 times.

Now 28, this could be his best chance to secure a significant transfer should he decide to leave Bergamo, and there have been rumblings of interest from Chelsea.

Wales: Gareth Bale

With 11 goals in 10 Premier League starts in 2020-21, Gareth Bale registered the best minutes-per-goal ratio (84) of any of the competition's top goalscorers.

He is returning to Real Madrid following his loan at Tottenham and Carlo Ancelotti appears keen to keep him, but heroics for Wales could encourage suitors to bid.

Gareth Southgate described Trent Alexander-Arnold's injury as "heartbreaking" for the Liverpool full-back, who will miss Euro 2020.

Alexander-Arnold sustained a thigh injury late on in England's friendly win over Austria on Wednesday, and scans the next day confirmed he will face around six weeks out.

His place in the 26-man squad for Euro 2020 had been the subject of fierce debate in the media, but the 22-year-old made the cut.

With three other right-backs in his squad, Southgate will make a call on who replaces Alexander-Arnold in his selection after Sunday's friendly against Romania in Middlesbrough.

But for now, the England manager offered his support to Alexander-Arnold, whose focus will be on returning to fitness ahead of Liverpool's 2021-22 campaign.

"Well it's heartbreaking really, for any player to get to the eve of a major tournament, be named in the squad and then to miss out through injury," Southgate told a news conference.

"You know how rare these opportunities are, even though he's a young player who's going to have these opportunities again, that's a really difficult moment for him especially.

"It's a big disappointment for us of course, as well, but you can't help, first and foremost, to feel for Trent in this situation.

"The one thing I was pleased about immediately after the game, I didn't like the look of the injury but at least it sounds like he'll be fine for pre-season and next season, but that is a very small positive. Of course he was very upset, bitterly disappointed and in those moments everybody is thinking about him."

England have six players available on standby – James Ward-Prowse, Ben Godfrey, Ben White, Ollie Watkins, Jesse Lingard and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Three Lions still seem well stacked in defence, though midfield is an area they look to be short in, with Jordan Henderson's fitness still in question, albeit centre-back Harry Maguire is also working his way back from injury and seems unlikely to be able to feature in the Group D opener against Croatia on June 13.

Pressed on whether it would definitely be a defender who replaces Alexander-Arnold, Southgate replied: "We want to see how we get through tomorrow's game, be able to assess everything and we'll make a decision from there.

"It's important to have time to consider everything, we're obviously talking about that as a coaching staff. We'll know more after tomorrow's game where everybody is physically, whether there's any more issues, it's important we get the positional balance right for the whole squad."

Asked for an update on Maguire, who is still not training with the team, Southgate said: "With any injury it's impossible to predict 100 per cent.

"Our medical team are pleased with his progress, particularly over the last couple of days, so we know there is always that risk, but all of the guide is that he should be available. It's a case of when he can slot back into training with the group.

"There's always that risk with any injury that you only have to have one minor setback, I am very realistic about that. If he's fit and available, that's a bonus for us."

No play was possible on day three of the first Test between England and New Zealand at a soggy Lord's.

England had been due to resume on 111-2 in their first innings after bowling out the Black Caps for 378, only for persistent rainfall throughout Friday to make sure the players never made it out onto the field.

Saturday's action will be extended to try to make up some of the time lost with 98 overs now scheduled – weather permitting, of course.

Opener Rory Burns and captain Joe Root are the two not out batsmen for England, having reached stumps on the second day unbeaten on 59 and 42 respectively.

Their partnership of 93 had helped the hosts out of an early hole, Dom Sibley having departed for a duck at the start of the fourth over before Zak Crawley then fell soon after for two, leaving the score at 18-2.

Devon Conway had starred for New Zealand with the bat, the debutant becoming just the seventh player to register a double hundred on debut in Test cricket as he made exactly 200. 

After Lord's, the teams will move on to Edgbaston to conclude the two-match series, though the Black Caps will remain in England as they take on India in the ICC Test Championship final later in June.

Trent Alexander-Arnold says he is "absolutely gutted" to miss England's Euro 2020 campaign after suffering a thigh injury against Austria on Wednesday.

The Liverpool full-back was the centre of heated speculation ahead of Gareth Southgate's decision to cut his preliminary squad to a selection of 26 this week.

Alexander-Arnold was picked, though, along with three other recognised right-backs in Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier.

However, the 22-year-old will play no part in the competition having gone off injured late on in the 1-0 friendly win over Austria after clearing the ball.

Alexander-Arnold, who faces around six weeks on the sidelines, posted an image on his Twitter account on Friday with the caption: "Absolutely gutted." 

Southgate will not confirm a replacement until after Sunday's friendly against Romania.

Rio Ferdinand has questioned Gareth Southgate's decision to include Harry Maguire in England's Euro 2020 squad and says Marcus Rashford should not be considered for a starting spot.

Maguire was this week named as part of England's final 26-man squad for the tournament, despite missing Manchester United's final five games of the season – including the Europa League final loss to Villarreal – with ankle ligament damage.

He has yet to take part in training since linking up with his Three Lions team-mates, with Southgate admitting on Tuesday he is unsure if the defender will be ready for the Group D opener against Croatia on June 13.

With fears Maguire may not be fit enough to play any part in the group phase, former United centre-back Ferdinand does not believe Maguire should have been selected at the expense of another defender.

"Harry is important from set-pieces, as he showed at the World Cup. But I have to be honest, I wouldn't take players that are 50 per cent fit," said Ferdinand, who was speaking to Stats Perform on behalf of Heineken, an official UEFA Euro 2020 partner. 

"If I'm worried about a player being able to make 90 minutes, I wouldn't take them. Too much energy goes into talking about it and worrying about it, that it takes the focus off what you are there for as a team."

Who to play alongside John Stones in the heart of defence should Maguire fail to win his fitness battle is not the only big selection call Southgate has to make ahead of Euro 2020 getting under way next week.

The England boss is spoiled for choice in the final third, with Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all battling for starting spots alongside captain Harry Kane.

Rashford has scored four goals in his last five appearances for England, but he struggled with a niggling injury issue towards the end of last season and Ferdinand would hold off from using the versatile forward until later in the tournament.

"If you're looking at form, I think Marcus probably doesn't deserve to start," Ferdinand said. "I think of the players around him in that position, Sancho and Foden should be picked in terms of form.

"I don't know much about Gareth's relationship with them players and what they've done in the past for him, and his confidence in certain players. Also, tactically how the game looks, who he is going to play. 

"In terms of form, I think he's scored one in nine or 10 games at the end of the season [for United]. I think he's a bit fatigued and I think he's been carrying a few injuries. I'd like to see him recuperating in this little period of time off, and then come into it fresh."

Of those eight players vying for a starting role in the final third, Aston Villa playmaker Grealish and Borussia Dortmund's Sancho lead the way in terms of big chances created in the league during the 2020-21 campaign with 14 each.

Despite missing 12 matches, Grealish was by far and away the most fouled player in the Premier League last season (110 fouls won), while his 2.68 dribbles completed per 90 minutes was bettered by just six players to have played at least 20 times.

Only Belgium (40) scored more goals than England's 37 in qualifying for Euro 2020 and Ferdinand is particularly excited by the attacking options available to choose from.

"In terms of wide players, we must have some of the biggest talent," he said. "We've got Foden, Sterling, Rashford, Grealish, Sancho, and Mount can play there as well – so six of the most talented, impactful players that are playing at the moment. 

"You look at Sancho, over the last three years has got 30 goal involvements every year, which is astounding for a kid who had been 21 and under. 

"Jack Grealish has been one of the hardest to combat players in the Premier League when he's fit. Phil Foden is deciding games in Champions League knockout stages, for one so young, and Man City are dominating in midfield. 

"It's crazy. You've also got Sterling, with what he's done over the last three years, his trophy haul that he's building at the moment is up there with the best. Those young players, it's mouthwatering."

While a number of positions are up for debate, it is certain that captain Kane – who topped the scoring charts in qualifying – will lead the line for the Three Lions.

Kane won his third Golden Boot after scoring 23 times in 2020-21, becoming the third player after Thierry Henry (four) and Alan Shearer to achieve such a feat.

He also set up 14 goals to become just the second player in the Premier League era to top the charts for both goals and assists (also Andy Cole in 1993-94).

The Tottenham striker's future is a hot topic of debate heading into the tournament after recently admitting he is at a "crossroads" in his career, but Ferdinand does not expect that to have any sort of impact on his performances.

"It happens to the best players," he said. "These players we're talking about with speculation, like Sancho and Kane, they have this every day of the week. This is normal for them, they are just in a tournament, that's the only difference.

"I think Harry has shown he enjoys wearing the armband. He enjoys the responsibility, some players grow with it. This tournament, I'd like to see that."

 

Ferdinand was speaking as part of Heineken's 'Enjoy the Rivalry' campaign, which encourages fans to watch Euro 2020 matches alongside their rivals.

The United legend was pranked by fellow former pro Robbie Savage as part of the initiative, culminating in the ex-England international having his portrait draped in a flag of rivals Wales.

"I was a bit surprised, I've got to be honest," he said. "I was probably being a bit too polite because there were two young ladies in front of me and I didn't want to be... well I saw the Welsh flag and I thought what are these people playing at?

"They don't understand the rivalry that we have with Wales and all of a sudden they drape me in a Welsh flag. It was weird.

"I think 'finally together again to be rivals', is a perfect strapline. I think everyone's waited for this opportunity, to have some sort of rivalry with teams, with people, with individuals."

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