Mark Sampson and his team will start the final phase of their 2017 Euro preparation with two friendlies against Norway and Sweden in Spain.
England will be one of the favourites with their FIFA ranking as high as number five and their Bronze medal in the 2015 World Cup.
The England manager needs to tweak his tactics and shape his squad for the tournament. The final squad is far from being decided as probably a dozen players are guaranteed a place on the plane to Netherlands next Summer.
Tactics wise, he seems to favour the 3-5-1-1 system after using a back four for more than two seasons, but the World Cup showed that the England team is extremely flexible and can adapt to any kind of opponent.
There will be some surprises in the squad as seen in 2015, when the number one left-back who played all the qualifiers was left at home despite being 100% fit.
Another parameter to take into account for squad selection is the FA central contracts that are apparently up for renewal as they seem to guarantee a place in the squad regardless of form.
It is fair to say that some players have been regularly selected for squads but not used on the pitch, simply because they are paid by the FA to be at their disposal.
The England program until the 2017 Euros is as follows:
- 22 Jan England v Norway La Manga
- 24 Jan England v Sweden Pinatar Area, Murcia
- 27 Feb – 7 Mar SheBelieves Cup against USA, France and Germany played in the USA.
- 3 Apr – 11 Apr FIFA international dates for international friendly
- 5 Jun – 13 Jun FIFA international dates for international friendly
With the FA WSL Spring Series finishing on 3 June, you would expect the England squad to be available from 4 June until the tournaments starts. The official players’ release date from the clubs is 2 July, a month later.
- 19 Jul England v Scotland
- 23 Jul England v Spain
- 27 Jul England v Portugal
Plus the eventual, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.