Gareth Southgate believes England’s forward line is as exciting as any other team in the world.
With Harry Kane leading the line, Raheem Sterling supplying the ammunition from one flank and either Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho on the other, it is unquestionably one of the best English frontlines in memory.
But does Southgate’s claim that ‘they’re as exciting as anything’ really stand up to scrutiny? We compare England’s attacking options with some of their international rivals.
England manager Gareth Southgate believes his attacking players are among the world’s best
The manner in which England have breezed through Euro 2020 qualifying – scoring 19 goals in their four matches so far – prompted Southgate’s comments last week.
And there certainly is some weight to his argument that an attacking arsenal of Kane, Rashford, Sterling and Sancho is a frightening prospect.
However, as well as they have played during this qualification campaign, it has to be remembered that the opposition being ripped apart are, to put it politely, modest.
When England came up against a higher calibre of opposition, for example Holland and Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League over the summer, they struggled.
Harry Kane (left), Jadon Sancho (centre) and Raheem Sterling celebrate during England’s 5-3 win over Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday night
Kane could quite easily have the best season of his career at Tottenham. He looks lean, sharp and has already scored seven goals in six matches for club and country. And despite seeing one saved against Kosovo on Tuesday night, he’s also one of the best penalty takers anywhere.
Sterling continues to get better and better for Manchester City and is now a guaranteed starter for England. His speed, trickery and ability to take on defenders is at times astonishing.
The one unknown is whether Rashford or Sancho should start on the opposite side. Sancho is in better form at Borussia Dortmund than Rashford is at Manchester United, but that could change with eight months of the season left.
With another exciting young player in Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi to come back from injury, England certainly have forward options to trouble pretty much any team in world football when everything clicks.
Danger rating: 9/10
Marcus Rashford played in England’s qualifying win over Bulgaria at the weekend
You don’t have to delve too deeply to understand why France are the reigning world champions.
They could put out two competitive teams given the awesome depth of their squad and it’s in attack they truly strike fear into their rivals.
Olivier Giroud, 32, might be playing second fiddle to Tammy Abraham for Chelsea at the moment but he has a proven track record for his country and is unselfish enough to not only lead the line but set up team-mates in better positions.
Kylian Mbappe and Antone Griezmann celebrate a goal during France’s qualifier with Andorra
Antoine Griezmann was excellent at the World Cup, scoring…
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