In Euro 96, England and Scotland were pitted against each other after both being drawn into Group A, and to add to the drama, it was to be played at Wembley – the same venue as this Friday’s Euro 2020 game.
After both teams picked up draws in their opening fixtures against Switzerland and the Netherlands respectively, their grudge match in Wembley was crucial for both sides’ qualification hopes.
As is well known by now, England managed to better their rivals 2-0, thanks to Alan Shearer’s opener and Paul Gascoigne’s iconic volley.
And with both sides set to meet again for a rematch, the stakes are once again high, especially after Scotland‘s 2-0 loss against the Czech Republic in their opener – Patrik Schick of Bayer Leverkusen did the damage.
Sorry Jordan Pickford, but when it comes to choosing a goalkeeper, it’s impossible to look past David Seaman.
The legendary Arsenal goalkeeper had it all – reflex saves, a commanding aura and an intimidating presence between the sticks.
As well as a club legend, Seaman has an impeccable record with England. With 75 appearances to his name, Seaman is one of the most experienced England players of all-time, and also holds the record for appearing in the national team for 15 consecutive years.
With Scotland as the opponent, Seaman is surely the last man they would want to face, after his penalty save against Gary McAllister in Euro 96 denied the Scots an equaliser shortly before Gascoigne doubled England’s lead.
In Euro 96, Neville was the youngest first-team player for England, but his performances showed he was up to the task, playing in all of the matches bar the semi-final clash against Germany.
Neville missed the semi-final against Germany through suspension, and although the loss definitely wasn’t solely down to his omission, it certainly didn’t help England’s chances.
The first of the 2021 squad to make it into the starting XI. Although Harry Maguire is yet to play in Euro 2020, he is undoubtedly England’s best defender and will be a huge boost to the side on his return.
After a successful 2018 World Cup with England, Maguire made the switch to Manchester United where he has received mixed reviews for his performances.
In the 2019/20 season, Maguire played every Premier League minute for his side, and he looked to replicate the feat this season, before suffering an injury against Aston Villa that ruled him out of the last five games of 2020/21. It included missing the Europa League defeat to Villarreal.
Manchester United’s poor performances since Maguire’s injury has been an indicator of how impactful Maguire is in defence. Southgate has also been keen not to lose his leadership, calling him up to the Euro 2020 squad despite him lacking fitness.
Maguire’s inclusion in the squad means that Gareth Southgate misses out on a place in the starting XI – but we always thought he suited that waistcoat better anyway…
Partnering Maguire in the heart of defence has to be Tony Adams. The former Arsenal captain provides valuable leadership and bravery at the back in what is bound to be a physical game against Scotland.
Having both the Manchester United and Arsenal captains in defence is itself a flash from the past. Picking the ever-reliable Adams is a no-brainer when it comes to who will command the back line.
The Nottingham Forest legend has edged past the likes of Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw to round off the England defence.
With Southgate not opting to pick either Chilwell or Shaw in England’s opener against Croatia last week, the consistency and tenacity of Stuart Pearce has lifted him to the top of the pecking order.
Going by the name “Psycho” – due to his relentless style of play – Pearce is guaranteed to bring passion and bravery to the game, if nothing else.
Despite England’s woeful penalty record in major tournaments, Pearce himself has been reliable from the spot, taking penalties in both of England’s Euro 96 shoot-outs and converting them both.
Also, who wouldn’t love to see this celebration in front of Wembley again?
Simply one of the best at what he did. Tireless running, lung-busting sprints, and crunching tackles – Paul Ince had it all.
While Declan Rice has been faultless thus far in his England career, he isn’t quite ready to dethrone Ince from the heart of the midfield.
What more can we say? Paul Gascoigne’s iconic goal in Euro 96 is enough to warrant him a place in any England starting XI.
Despite Kalvin Phillips’ man-of-the-match performance against Croatia this week, we think the Leeds United man would understand being dropped to the bench in favour of Gazza.
Gascoigne’s volley against Scotland in the group stages has since gone down in soccer folklore, and the chance to witness the infamous “dentist chair” celebration at Wembley one more time is too good an offer to turn down.
There’s only one thing better than having one Gascoigne on the pitch…
Phil Foden‘s Gascoigne-inspired haircut has shown the Manchester City forward’s appreciation of the England icon, and if they were to play alongside each other, there’s no doubt they’d form a deadly partnership.
Even at the tender age of 21, Foden has exponentially grown as a player, and was unlucky not to score his first European Championship goal this week when his strike against Croatia fired back off the inside of the post.
Marcus Rashford will be representing England on the pitch this summer, but already this year, his amazing charity work has been aiding the nation.
Alongside his off-field work, Rashford has also enjoyed his second most productive season of his career with 21 goals in all competitions. Although he has been carrying injuries all year, he seems ready to inspire England at the Euros this summer.
Competing for a wide position with the likes of Darren Anderton and Steve McManaman, Rashford’s pace and direct attacking play places him ahead of the competition and into the starting XI.
The first of two central strikers is none other than Alan Shearer. As the top all-time scorer in the Premier League, Shearer has shown that he has a true striker’s instinct unlike any other.
Going into Euro 96, Shearer had struggled to reach his usual goal-scoring form, with just five goals in 23 international appearances.
But once the tournament started, Shearer’s true striking abilities came to light, scoring in England’s opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland before giving England the lead against Scotland in their second match.
A further two goals against the Netherlands in the final group game, and a third-minute strike against Germany in the semi-finals capped off a superb tournament for Shearer in which he won the golden boot with five goals.
Partnering Shearer up front is the man in pursuit of his Premier League goal record, Harry Kane.
Alongside Gary Lineker and Shearer, Kane is the only English player to win the Golden Boot in a major tournament after his six goals in the 2018 World Cup.
Following his success in 2018, Kane continued to be in among the goals, picking up this season’s golden boot with 23 goals before heading off to the Euros this summer.
With two out-and-out goalscorers up front, being supplied by Gascoigne, Foden and Rashford, surely this squad would bring football home… right?