England were shocked by Iceland at the last Euros in France five years ago, but responded well at the 2018 World Cup where they reached the semi-finals.
The Three Lions have never won the European Championships and have something of a home advantage this year, with their three group games, against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic, being played at Wembley. Should they win the group, their round of 16 game will be at Wembley, with both semi-finals and the final also taking place at the national stadium in London.
England open their group stage campaign against Mateo Kovacic’s Croatia on Monday 14 June.
Asked about the inclusion of James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, Southgate had this to say at a press conference after the announcement.
‘Yes, we have four players who play sometimes at right-back for their clubs, but we have Kieran who can play right wing-back, we have Reece James who can play right of a three or right wing-back, Trent plays at right-back, and Kyle Walker has played at centre-back for us in a three, and has also played at left-back in a game against Denmark. Reece James was in midfield against Aston Villa.
‘They are in our best 26 footballers and that’s why they are in the squad. If I could have picked a fifth or a sixth right-back, I probably would have done!’