The changes keep coming as the Euro 2020 competition gets closer. Now, UEFA has announced new changes that will allow participating nations in the competition to name squads of up to 26 players.
This is a shift from the normal 23 players, and the change is meant to cushion teams from the ravages of injury or Covid-19 as the football world makes all the needed efforts to not only combat the pandemic but also ensuring that it doesn’t affect the competition.
The competition is set to be hosted in 11 different cities across Europe which brings into sharp focus the challenge of dealing with the spread, with fans expected to start trickling back to the stadia in some countries. The fatigue of playing squeezed matches this season is also in consideration and thus the increase in squad size.
Basically, teams will be allowed 26 players but only 23 can make it to the match squad and it was previously allowed that teams can make up to five substitutions in a game. Meanwhile, teams will also be able to replace players for serious injuries or illness, up until the first match of the tournament. Nations will have more ease in replacing goalkeeper, as it has been permitted they can be replaced throughout the competition in case if illness or serious injury.
The deadline for naming the 26 man squads for the tournament has been set for June 1 and with the Euro 2020 (2021) betting tips on the way at SportyTrader, what do these changes mean?
The changes should attract cheers across England, one of the nations to benefit from a bigger quota. The news must be a big boost for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.
The five players have had high moments at their clubs, and even attracted call ups to the national team at some point but recently, things might have taken bad turns for them, leaving them on the fringes as far as national team duty is concerned.
So, who among the five will get the three extra slots available? Jack Grealish has had injury issues that have left him out of the Aston Villa team since mid February. He is out with a shin injury that has just refused to heal, with the Villa skipper suffering several setbacks. Sancho has also been out with injury but he recently made a return at Borussia Dortmund and this news should give him optimism.
Back in England, in North London, Bukayo Saka of Arsenal missed the last three international games with a hamstring injury. He is fully fit now and playing regularly, and his versatility is one thing that would excite Gareth Southgate.
Liverpool defender Alexander Arnold’s omission from the squad last time attracted a lot of questions on the selection. Southgate was categorical that the player hadn’t shown the right levels at his club, thus the snub. He has since improved and will be hoping to make it to the expanded squad, suppose a decision on him had already been made.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham will also be hoping to benefit from the expanded quota. Despite the hype about him in Bundesliga, Southgate gave him just 45 minutes in the recent World Cup qualifiers and it was expected that in a 23-man squad, he’d be overlooked. He has another chance now.
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