Taking a look at England v Romania.
The Three Lions’ last warm up game before Euro ‘2020’ commences is against Romania at Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It will be Southgate’s last chance to try and test out some of the players who he is unsure of starting whilst his mind gets to work on picturing who will play against Croatia in England’s opening game of the tournament, a game which will probably pose more questions than the others due to the opposition’s quality. Thus, I wanted to investigate in further detail the Romania national side including the country itself and the players who could play on the weekend for England as returning players improve on their match fitness.
The two nations first came head to head in the summer of 1939, a few months before the start of World War Two and England who were then managed by the International Select Committee would run out 2-0 winners on foreign soil. This game would soon be sparked in rivalry as Romania would provide equipment and oil to Nazi Germany. However, it would be only fair to comment on pitch matters as Romania have defeated England on all important pitch meetings such as the 1980 World Cup Qualifier in which Valentin Stanescu’s men won 2-1. The most recent meeting between the two countries came in the Euros of 2000, another game which proved that The Land Of The Dracula had a team that would fight for each other in order to beat good opposition.
You may be quite interested in hearing why Romania is called the Land of The Dracula. The nickname stems from Vlad Dracul’s father and himself, both obtaining the name Dracula after gaining the Order of the Dragon membership. In the beginning, Vlad’s nickname which was ‘The Impaler’ came from the merchants of the city of Brasov which found him very harsh and severe and spread his nickname as far as the German lands. Further emphasising that relationship between Romania and Germany.
You could look at England’s opposition and argue that it will be poor if Southgate’s men don’t manage to bag a couple as they continue their preparation for a vital summer, given that Mirel Radio’s men are currently ranked 43rd in the most recent Fifa rankings. However, they still have a good few players who possess that dracula spirit and they will be vying for blood as they aim to get back to their average position since Fifa’s world ranking creation, in December 1992, of 24th. The players that are capable of causing a threat? Former Spurs defender/defensive midfielder and national skipper Vlad Chiriches, who is in his prime leadership years at the age of 31. Rangers’ attacker Ianis Hagi who poses a threat to many defensive lines, the 22-year-old with a total of 15 goal involvements in the Scottish Premier League for Steven Gerrard’s invincible men. Also, I consider Reading’s promising attacker George Puscas when naming key threats as he has progressed through the ranks of his national team and has scored eight goals in 23 appearances so far for The Tricolorri.
However, I have recently described in my England squad article that Southgate has enough talent at his disposal to beat any opposing nation and he could do with testing the fitness of Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire by giving them a few minutes as they attempt to recover from injuries. Thus, I’d start: Jordan Pickford, Reece James, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Raheem Sterling, Domic Calvert-Lewin and Marcus Rashford whilst looking to test the legs of an important few by implementing them at sometime throughout the game as a breath of fresh air. It’s vital that a fine line between fatigue and warmed up is respected ahead of a crucial game in less than ten days time ahead of an action packed and shortened professional domestic season.
Mirel Radoi will be hoping that his key stars such as Ianis Hagi will pose a threat to England’s back line. However, I believe that although the game will be tricky Southgate has enough ammunition with the players he has selected to win a game that will send the Three Lions off to the Euro’s in high spirits.