As usual, there are certain players that are guaranteed to go to the tournament due to their form, history in the team and overall skills.
The big question is who will get the nod from the players that are on the fringe of the squad due to injury or competition for places?
For the goalkeepers, it looks quite clear that Earps, Roebuck and Hampton will be selected and MacIver will be the reserve goalie should one of the three players gets injured.
It would be huge surprised not to see the trio selected.
There are two injured players with question marks: Fran Kirby and Stephanie Houghton.
Regarding Fran Kirby, if fit, there is no question that she should be in the squad. There is no one in the England squad who is close to her skill set. She is an exceptional, world class player, and neither Zelem, Toone, Stanway nor Staniforth are as good as her.
The other injury doubt is the former captain Stephanie Houghton, who lost her place due to injury. There are two main questions about selecting her. The team dynamics have changed while she was out. A new captain (Leah Williamson) and vice-captain have been named and have asserted their authority on the team. Would her return affect that balance in term of leadership in a positive or negative way?
You have more than a month together and tensions between players or between players and staff can create problems. I don’t think this would be a problem at all with Steph Houghton. Then, on the football side, does she warrant a place in the final 23? You would guess Wiegman is going to take eight defenders to the Euros. The provisional squad has nine defenders, so the big question who will be left out?
Bright, Bronze, Daly, Stokes, Greenwood are obviously going to be selected. We have therefore four players for three places: Houghton, Wubben-Moy, Carter and Charles. What is striking is all those players are right-footed and there is no natural cover at left-back for Stokes, except Greenwood, who mainly plays at centre-back these days.
It means if Greenwood is the back-up for Stokes, you have to take Wubben-Moy and Houghton as centre-back to cover and leave out Carter or Charles.
If Daly is the cover for Stokes then you can chose to have Charles, Carter and one from Wubben-Moy/Houghton.
At the same time, Carter can, in theory, cover three positions – RB, LB, CB – so I think she will be one of the 23 players, for sure.
My guess is Houghton or Charles will be left-out of the 23.
Then, you get the players who fight on football merit to be in the squad: in midfield we know that Kirby, Scott, Stanway, Walsh, Toone and Williamson will be picked in the final 23.
That leaves Staniforth and Zelem potentially fighting for a place, if England takes seven midfielders.
If they only pick six, both Staniforth and Zelem will be out, unless Kirby is not ready.
In attack, again it will depend on how many players are picked.
If we base on 3-8-6-7, that’s seven forwards picked. All seven pre-selected players would be in.
The question is do you take six or seven forwards?
If you don’t take all seven, one of Parris, England or Kelly would be left-out. I don’t think there is any doubt that Kelly is a better player than Parris and England. But England is the number one back-up striker for Ellen White, so she should be selected, unless Hemp is used as a striker, a job she has done very well in the past at club level and England youth level.
If you have Kirby at 10 and a front three of Mead/Russo, Hemp, Kelly, you will give nightmares to the defenders with four quick, intelligent and technically strong players who can interchange positions at will in front of your double pivot Williamson-Walsh.
So, these are the 23 players I expect to be picked for the Euros: Earps, Roebuck, Hampton; Bronze, Carter, Daly, Houghton, Bright, Greenwood, Wubben-Moy, Stokes; Walsh, Williamson, Scott, Stanway, Toone, Kirby; Mead, Kelly, White, England, Hemp, Russo.
The 23 I would have picked is Earps, Roebuck, Hampton; Bronze, Charles, Carter, Bright, Greenwood, Wubben-Moyes, Stokes; Walsh, Williamson, Zelem, Scott, Stanway, Toone, Kirby; Daly, Mead, Kelly, White, Hemp, Russo.
Source: Daily Cannon.