Who makes it if England pick their Euro 2016 squad based on current club form?
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | Updated May 15, 2016
Roy Hodgson will belatedly name his 23-man England squad that will go to Euro 2016 on Monday, May 16th, but have you found yourself wondering what that would look like if it was picked entirely on current club form?
Coral’s football experts certainly have, and there are one or two shocks if it were to be picked purely on statistics and end-of-season purple patches.
The actual Three Lions roster will almost certainly differ from this, but some curious selections and surprise omissions from our own choices should stimulate some debate…
One area where the stats and current form reflect Hodgson’s likely choices is who protects the posts. As there’s something of a paucity of English goalies, they rather picks themselves…
As of the start of May, Manchester City keeper Hart has kept 15 Premier League clean sheets, which is the joint-most with Kasper Schmeichel.
Since returning from a lengthy lay-off, Southampton stopper Forster has sealed six shut-outs and was named Premier League Player of the Month for February.
Burnley captain Heaton, 4/9 to make the Euro 2016 squad, has kept 20 Championship clean sheets en route to Sean Dyche’s side earning immediate promotion back into the Premier League.
He thus represents a suitable statistical choice for the third keeper spot, with West Bromwich Albion’s Ben Foster enduring an injury-hit campaign.
Among the most surprising areas is at the back. Central defence poses a statistical problem for Hodgson, as English players have performed way below their usual form.
Gary Cahill, the Three Lions vice-captain no less and stand-in skipper for the recent friendly win in Germanty, simply wouldn’t get in based on this method having kept a paltry two Premier League clean sheets in a season of real struggle for Chelsea.
If not Cahill, then who? Prepare to be shocked…
A marked improvement from Manchester United’s Chris Smalling gives him outstanding statistical claims to marshal the England defence. The Red Devils have kept 16 clean sheets with him in their XI.
Based purely on stats, uncapped Leicester City right back Simpson has kept the second-most shut-outs of any English defender. A call-up for the Euros is in reality so unlikely, Coral haven’t even priced him up.
There is controversially only room for one of Tottenham’s full backs on our roster, and Walker gets the nod. Helping Spurs to keep a dozen league clean sheets, he has also got three assists and a goal for Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
Danny Rose looks like being Hodgson’s first choice at left back, but there are two other players who can play there boasting better statistics…
Considerable England claims pressed by West Ham United’s homegrown contingent have been ignored, but uncapped 20/1 Euro squad outsider Cresswell is statistically the best option for the left-hand side of defence.
Under Slaven Bilic, he has continued to impress. Cresswell has been involved in 11 shut-outs, set up for goals and scored a couple of spectacular long-rangers himself.
Versatility plays a huge had in Liverpool full back Clyne getting in ahead of Rose to complete the options on the rearguard flanks. He’s figured in all 10 of the Anfield outfit’s league clean sheets. Hodgson is likely to take Clyne to Euro 2016 as well.
We know what you’re thinking; how can an uncapped 28-year-old central defender from Crystal Palace – a team that sits 17th in the Premier League table – be named on our roster? Reality doesn’t make good reading for Dann, who is a 28/1 outsider to sneak a Euro squad spot.
It is the lack of credible options that makes Dann statistically the second-best English centre half playing Premier League football. He’s got eight Premier League clean sheets to his credit, though precious few recently, and poses a set-piece threat.
Stoke City skipper Shawcross’ international career seemed to end just as it had begun. He played in that infamous 4-2 friendly loss to Sweden, the Zlatan Ibrahimovic show with the overhead kick.
This utterly wretched Three Lions debut is something Shawcross has never been able to redeem, if odds of 25/1 to be at the Euros are any indicator. He’s kept more clean sheets (seven) than Phil Jagielka (six) and Cahill, though, so the stats support his inclusion.
As with Spurs above, there is only room for one of England defensive contingent currently at Everton. Stones is the no less controversial selection, with the most shut-outs (also seven) despite several mistakes in other matches.
Hodgson’s likely choices for the middle of the park are set to largely reflect the statistically supported and in-form players. There’s no Jack Wilshere, though…
We start straight away with the box-to-box acumen of rising midfield star Dele Alli. He’s struck 10 Premier League goals and got nine assists in support of Spurs striker Harry Kane, and replicating their club relationship for their country will be key.
A best-ever top-flight campaign from Everton counterpart Barkley puts him firmly in contention to go to the Euros. In all competitions he’s in double figures for goals and assists from the number 10 area.
Pochettino’s conversion of Dier from defender to midfield shield is among the biggest tactical triumphs of the season. Now an established part of the Spurs spine, he’s been involved in 11 Premier League clean sheets, putting out fires at White Hart Lane.
Forgive Leicester deep-lying playmaker Drinkwater’s recent sending off at Old Trafford, as he’s contributed plenty to the cause including an assist for that Wes Morgan header.
Eight assists from an anchorman position makes a compelling case for his inclusion. Drinkwater is 1/2 to be chosen by Hodgson for the Euros.
Liverpool grafter Milner has been far from his ‘boring’ nickname that football fans have given him. No Premier League player has made more assists in 2016 with eight than him.
With 11 in total, Milner has proved to be a key cog for Jurgen Klopp in what is both Reds boss and player’s first season at Anfield.
As alluded to above, the Hammers homegrown heroes have been ignored by Hodgson, but club skipper Noble ended April with four goals in two games.
It is a shame how in reality recognition isn’t forthcoming. Noble is a 10/1 outsider (but cut in half from 20/1) to cross the Channel and play at the Euro 2016 finals in France. Like Barkley, he’s having his best-ever top-flight campaign in front of goal.
When it comes to the England attack, there is no statistical basis for selecting any natural wide players whatsoever. That means there’s no Andros Townsend, no Raheem Sterling, no Aaron Lennon and no Michail Antonio, who have all had brief flashes of decent form at different time this season.
One final area where overall form and reality differ is the absence from our squad of national captain Wayne Rooney and Hodgson favourite Danny Welbeck. They were the Three Lions’ leading lights in qualifying, but neither can be selected here based on how they’re presently performing…
If you score more than 20 Premier League goals, then you’re going to go to a major tournament. Spurs star striker Kane has netted 14 of 25 top-flight strikes in 2016.
Foxes forward Vardy is right up there with Kane, netting 24 times in the Premier League this term.
Remember this guy? Behind Kane and Vardy, Sunderland striker Defoe is the third-highest scoring Englishman in the top flight. He’s poached 11 of his 15 goals this season since 2016 started, and Defoe has been cut into 7/2 (from first 20/1 and then 10/1) for an international recall for the Euros.
Watford captain Deeney has a penchant for scoring late goals in either half. Of his 13 in all competitions, seven have come in either the last five minutes before the interval, or in the same period prior to the final whistle.
That won’t cut any ice with Hodgson, however, as Deeney is a rank 50/1 outsider to make Euro 2016.
Hodgson took target man Carroll to the last Euros four years ago, and striking half a dozen times in his last eight or nine league games for West Ham is evidence he is coming into form at just the right time.
At 4/1 (from 10/1) to sneak into the England squad for the Euros, Carroll would give his country a different dimension, but there is the feeling in reality that things have gone in a different direction to the physical threat he poses.
If there’s no statistical basis for gambling on Wilshere’s fitness, what about fellow sick note Sturridge. When he’s been able to play, however, he’s delivered with six goals in his last seven league appearances.
We expect the Three Lions’ actual Euro 2016 roster to somewhat differ from our chosen 23. Have your say in the comments below!
Check out tons more Euro 2016 content on Coral’s dedicated page.