Are England Strong Contenders For The Euros?

Since England’s exit from the World Cup in 2014 they remain unbeaten, winning six games out of six in their European Championship qualifying campaign but is this true reflection of where England stand in International football. If as expected they beat San Marino on Saturday they will confirm their place at next summer’s European Championship, but can Roy Hodgson’s side be truly judged on their performances in Group E.

Current standings in England's qualifying group
Current standings in England’s qualifying group

Let’s be honest, England’s group is probably one of the easiest they have ever faced to qualify for a major championships- with all due respect to Switzerland, who are the second seeds in the group, they are not a super power in world football. As for the other teams in the group, Slovenia are ranked 45th, Estonia 80th, Lithuania 109th and San Marino 193rd in the FIFA rankings. It would be a cause for concern if England did not win all ten of their qualifying games.

Even in the friendly matches England have played since the World Cup, the highest placed opposition they have faced is Scotland, who are 31st in the rankings, meaning the Three Lions have hardly been tested in the build up to Euro 2016.

There is no doubt that England will take their place at this summer’s European Championships in France, but can they be a major threat in the tournament? Is the current squad strong enough to compete with Spain, Germany, Italy, France or even Wales; who have now moved ahead of England in the latest FIFA World rankings, following their fine qualifying campaign. The latest squad features several players that would not be there if it were not for injuries.

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