UEFA to consider increasing Euro 2024 squad sizes at meeting next month

By Sports Desk March 28, 2024

UEFA will consider a possible increase in the size of squads for Euro 2024 at a meeting next month.

A number of coaches have called on European football’s governing body to allow countries to take 26 players to Germany instead of 23, a move England boss Gareth Southgate may be glad to accept as he deals with a number of injuries.

“We have taken note of comments expressed by some national team coaches on the squad size for Euro 2024,” UEFA said in a statement released on Friday.

“A workshop with the participating teams will be held on 8 April and on that occasion UEFA will listen to the views of the coaches.

“Any idea in this respect will then be considered and assessed.”

This summer’s finals is the first time since the 2018 World Cup that national team managers are having to pick a 23-man squad for a major tournament after it was expanded to 26 following the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw with Belgium at Wembley, Southgate said: “It seems to be (settled at 23).

“There is one more UEFA meeting where there’s been a little bit of talk amongst some of the coaches about possibly increasing that.”

That meeting will be part of a wider finalists’ workshop on April 8 and 9 in Dusseldorf, where Southgate will not push for 26 but will accept it if the decision goes that way.

Southgate, who has previously said it is a “bigger skill to pick a 23”, was asked if he was in favour of a move to an expanded selection and said with a smile: “Well, given where we are now!

“We’ve got to make the best decisions with what we know and some of those currently are going to be medical decisions.

“And we’ve been able to get those right in the previous tournaments. We’ve been able to give people time, but with 23 that’s definitely more difficult.”

Previous expanded selections allowed Southgate to take a calculated gamble on the fitness of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson at Euro 2020 as the pair recovered from injury.

The same went for Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips at the 2022 World Cup as they worked their way back to fitness, with injured duo Luke Shaw and Reece James potential beneficiaries if it goes to 26 this time.

Related items

  • CF Montreal v Nashville SC: Munthali aiming to get Coyotes back on track CF Montreal v Nashville SC: Munthali aiming to get Coyotes back on track

    Nashville SC interim head coach Rumbani Munthali aims to get a more recognizable look about the team as he prepares for his second game in charge against CF Montreal.

    Gary Smith, who led Nashville for seven years, made a shock exit following their 2-0 win over Toronto FC on May 16, with Munthali stepping up from player development coach to take his place.

    Nashville’s first game under him ended in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta United on Saturday, leaving them 11th in the Eastern Conference.

    With little time to put his stamp on the team, Munthali believes being able to welcome back injured players will help to get them back on track.

    "I think as you see players come back into the team [from injury], you see that we're starting to be a little more recognizable as a team that went on a 10-game undefeated streak last season," Munthali said. 

    "What I would hope is you get a team that represents what the club is: hard-working, forward-thinking and positive, and I hope that's a team we can put onto the field that will compete from start to finish.

    "I think those are the cornerstones of who we are as a club."

    Montreal are on a four-game losing streak that started with a 4-1 defeat to Nashville, and head coach Laurent Courtois accepts they need to do more to get back to winning ways.

    "Doing my 'job' is not enough. We have to be ready to offer a little 'extra' and help each other out. For the moment, in fits and starts, I have the impression that we are just doing our job.

    "Now, we are doing our mea culpa, we are coming back to things that we thought we had figured out."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Montreal – Sunusi Ibrahim

    In the absence of top-scorer Matias Coccaro, Ibrahim netted Montreal’s lone goal in their defeat to Toronto last week. Montreal have scored in all four games during their current losing run, with the Nigerian extending that run.

    Nashville – Hany Mukhtar

    Mukhtar attempted five shots, including scoring Nashville’s lone goal from the penalty spot, against Atlanta United on Saturday, taking him to 404 career shot attempts in regular-season MLS play. No other player has attempted 300 shots since Mukhtar joined the league in 2020.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Montreal’s lone win in eight all-time meetings with Nashville SC came in their last home match against them, a 1-0 win in June 2023. Nashville has won five of the other seven meetings (D2), including a 4-1 victory on May 4.

    However, Nashville have won only one of their last 15 MLS away matches (D5 L9 incl. playoffs) dating back to early June 2023. Nashville scored three goals in the lone win in that time (3-0 at Kansas City) but have totaled just five goals in the other 14 matches.

    Meanwhile, Montreal have lost four straight matches within a single regular season for the first time since September 2020. They haven’t lost five in a row in a single regular season since a five-match losing run to end the 2017 campaign.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Montreal – 39%

    Draw – 27.8%

    Nashville – 33.2%

  • Guardiola: Making history is 'extra motivation' for Man City Guardiola: Making history is 'extra motivation' for Man City

    Pep Guardiola believes making more history is "extra motivation" for Manchester City as they prepare for the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday.

    City became the first side to win the English top-flight in four successive seasons after edging Arsenal to the title on the final day by two points.

    On Saturday, they have the chance to win an unprecedented back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles against United if they win the FA Cup.

    Guardiola says making history is a benefit for his side, but they should already have all the motivation they need to win at Wembley.

    "If history gives us a chance to do something not done before, try it," Guardiola said.

    "Maybe [it will be] extra motivation for players. I didn't speak about this specifically to the players. Playing for a win, a trophy, is enough.

    "No teams have done four in a row; none have done back-to-back doubles. That is because it is not easy.

    "We are going to London to perform well. [It's the] same routine, not forgotten - defending our crown one year until next season.

    "We are happy, satisfied. Saturday we will go for it with all we have. I want to be beaten because they were better, not because we weren't who we are."

    City finished the Premier League season 31 points better off than their city rivals as United finished in their lowest-ever league position in the competition.

    Despite the vast difference between the sides this season, Guardiola backed the Red Devils to bounce back.

    "The respect is there," he added. "[You] can't compare, the last Premier League to first Premier League.

    "I won't compare United to another period, it's unfair. Our team is here, maybe tomorrow [it is] different. It can be different, nothing is eternal. I'm sure United will work to come up again."

  • FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake: Estevez looking up ahead of RSL clash FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake: Estevez looking up ahead of RSL clash

    FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez was more satisfied with the performance of his side as he looks ahead to a tough home game against Real Salt Lake.

    Dallas head into Saturday’s match sitting 12th in the Western Conference, while RSL top the standings on 28 points.

    A 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo in last week’s Texas derby followed on from a 2-1 win over Dallas’ other state rival, Austin FC, so they do at least head into the meeting with the West’s best team in some kind of form.

    But Estevez, whose team overcame the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the U.S. Open cup in midweek, knows this is only the start.

    Reflecting on the draw with the Dynamo, Estevez said: “We felt like we could win this game. We had one of the best first halves on the road this season. We just had a moment late in the first half after the water break where we dropped our level.

    “Overall, the first 30 minutes were the best that we have played on the road combining good defensive work, good possessions and good plays. In the second half, we started a little bit slow but as the second half went on, we did a very good job creating chances and playing in their half, keeping the ball moving from one side to the other. The subs did a really good job coming in and provided the new energy that we needed. We wanted to win tonight, but we feel good about it.

    “We need to recover really well, we need to rest. We want to improve every game.”

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    FC Dallas – Jesus Ferreira

    Ferreira will have been disappointed to miss out on the United States’ Copa America squad, and will now be out to prove Gregg Berhalter wrong. He has scored seven goals in 10 career MLS matches against Real Salt Lake, his most against any opponent. No player has scored more goals for either side against the other in the history of the rivalry.

    Real Salt Lake – Cristian Arango

    Arango (six goals, five assists) has contributed to at least one goal in six straight away matches, the longest streak in MLS since the beginning of last season. Arango is the second player since the start of the 2006 season to record 11 goal contributions in a span of six away matches (Carlos Vela – 2019).

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    RSL are unbeaten in 10 straight regular-season matches (W7 D3) for the fourth time in club history and the first since 2013-14 (16 straight). No team has had a longer unbeaten run in league play since Cincinnati went 11 straight without a loss in July-September 2022.

    Dallas have won three straight home matches in all competitions for the first time since July-August 2022. Dallas had won only two of its previous 10 at home (D6 L2) prior to winning each of its last three at Toyota Stadium.

    Dallas have lost only two of 24 all-time home matches against Salt Lake in all competitions (W16 D6). Dallas’ 2-1 home win over RSL last April, however, ended a five-match unbeaten run for RSL at Toyota Stadium (W1 D4).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Dallas – 36.5%

    RSL – 35.9%

    Draw – 27.6%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.