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England’s left-back dilemma - who will Gareth Southgate take to Euro 2020?

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England’s squad is as strong as it’s been for years, and ahead of this summer’s European Championships, there is a real feel-good factor surrounding the Three Lions and their chances of obtaining silverware.

There always usually is beforehand, to be fair, until the inevitable happens and we crash out after losing to an incredibly mediocre side who capitalise on a hatful of missed chances and score a last-minute penalty. Nevertheless, you’ve got to have faith, haven’t you? It’s what a major international tournament is all about. It is, however, also the hope that kills you.

With a squad packed full of unbelievable talent and several players on the fringes of a call-up this year, England will be one of the most feared sides at Euro 2020 - reflected in the fact that they are currently the bookmaker’s 4/1 favourites to go the distance and win the tournament in July. 

Indeed, one area of the pitch which is yet to be finalised is at left-back, where there are several candidates in with a chance of making Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man squad this summer.

BettingOdds.com have assessed each of them below.  

Ben Chilwell - Leicester City

It is pretty much a guarantee that we will see Ben Chilwell at the Euro’s, barring any unexpected injuries. The Leicester defender is currently England’s first-choice left-back, establishing himself as a mainstay in the Three Lions’ starting XI after a string of impressive performances at international level. 

The 22-year-old has struggled a little for consistency at club level this season, however, and has not yet managed to hit the heights he did last term. He is still the strongest left-back England have at their disposal, though, and will almost certainly line-up against Croatia on June 14th.

Odds to make the squad: 1/9 with Betfair

Danny Rose - Newcastle (on loan from Tottenham)

Danny Rose has been a regular fixture in the England set-up since making his debut back in 2016. Prior to Ben Chilwell’s rise to prominence, Rose had made the left-back berth his own, but after falling out of favour at Tottenham and thus seeing game time become limited in north London, his international career has subsequently started to suffer. 

Rose is probably still viewed as Gareth Southgate’s backup left-back by most, and is still tipped to travel to Euro 2020 should he impress whilst on loan at Newcastle for the remainder of the season. However, if he fails to make a significant impact at St James’ Park, then it would be no surprise to see the 29-year-old frozen out and replaced by a younger model.

Odds to make the squad: 7/4 with BetVictor

Luke Shaw - Manchester United 

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw was tipped to be a regular starter for England by the age of 24, but issues with injury and consistency has seen the Red Devils full-back completely drop out of the international scene. After making his debut for the Three Lions aged just 18 in 2014, Shaw was selected for the World Cup by then-manager Roy Hodgson, playing under-study to Leighton Baines in Brazil.

Wind on six years, though, and Shaw has earned just one England cap in the last two years, with his last appearance coming against Spain in 2018. Indeed, after struggling with injury (again) towards the start of the season, Shaw has now started to pick up regular game-time and consistency for United and has now made 18 appearances in all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, assisting twice. If he can remain fit from now until the end of the campaign and keep his place in United’s starting-eleven, he could see his international career revived in the summer. 

Odds to make the squad: 7/2 with bet365

Brandon Williams - Manchester United

19-year-old Brandon Williams has burst onto the scene in the last three months after a series of impressive displays for Manchester United. The young defender only made his debut for the Red Devils’ first-team in October - a 0-0 draw with AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League - but has since gone from strength to strength at Old Trafford. The England under-20s international has now made nine top-flight appearances for United, scoring once, and looks to be an extremely talented player with a huge future ahead of him.

Despite being uncapped at under-21 level, Williams could find himself surprisingly called up to Gareth Southgate’s senior England side if he continues with his promising form for the remainder of the season, and both Rose and Shaw fail to impress. The teenager is still very much an outside bet, but at odds of 10/1, it could well prove to be a shrewd punt. 

Odds to make the squad: 10/1 with Betfair

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