England's hungry young guns can surprise
l Best Euro result: Semi-finals (1968, 1996)
l Nickname: Three Lions
l Qualifying record: P 10, W10
COACH: ROY HODGSON
He is the luckiest manager in world football. The 68-year-old borrowed tactics from the Jurassic era at Euro 2012 and was fortunate to keep his job after several desperately cynical and tedious performances.
When the Three Lions plummeted to a real nadir, stumbling to a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup, Hodgson looked just about done.
But his services were retained and England embarked on an unbeaten run in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, thanks to a sudden emergence of attacking talents at Tottenham and Leicester.
If the 69-year-old deploys his resources wisely, they offer a terrific shot at redemption.
The Three Lions find themselves in a refreshingly unique position.
England no longer expect.
If the dour Hodgson era has achieved anything, it's crushing the insufferable jingoistic spirit that overwhelms every tournament.
But too many failures have tempered the flag-waving, which leaves England perfectly placed to play this tournament's dark horses.
At Euro 2004 and the World Cup in 2006, the so-called Golden Generation succumbed to their own publicity and were buried beneath an avalanche of egos.
But that's all gone now.
The Three Lions are younger, hungrier and, most of all, more humble. Their youth brings exuberance but not arrogance.
In fact, the current crop bear closer resemblance to the successful German and Spanish sides that benefited from a couple of well-organised, tightly knit domestic clubs.
In England's case, Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino has done such an extraordinary job in finessing teenage talents for England, he deserves an assistant coaching credit alongside Hodgson.
Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and the sublime Harry Kane should all see game time in France.
Indeed, Rose, Alli and Kane should be regular starters.
The prospect of Kane leading the line with Jamie Vardy is a genuinely enticing one, with the duo staking a claim for Europe's most prolific forwards at the moment.
The inclusion of Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford leaves England in the unusual position of an embarrassment of riches up front, with several quick, inventive options to choose from.
The Three Lions have enough attacking endeavour to reach the later stages of the tournament, as long as penalty shoot-outs are not involved, of course.
l Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton.
l Defenders: Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker.
l Midfielders: Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere.
l Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy.
Hodgson's selections in the opener against Russia will be crucial to their tournament. If it's the old, conservative Hodgson, he'll be wary of Alli's lack of international experience and leave him on the bench. If he picks the Spurs maverick, the 20-year-old could illuminate the tournament in a fashion not seen since Paul Gascoigne at Euro 1996.
The Tottenham striker is their most complete centre forward in a decade. He scored 80 seconds into his debut against Lithuania and won the EPL Golden Boot with 25 goals, proving that he is not a one-season wonder. The 22-year-old represents England's most potent threat since Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004.
(Centre back, Man United)
In many respects, Smalling will make or break England's campaign. Hodgson has taken a huge risk,
taking only three centre backs. Neither Gary Cahill nor John Stones have enjoyed consistent seasons. Smalling, 26, must play the Band-Aid and hold the back four together.