'England have the best offensive team in the world' - Kosovo boss sees Three Lions as Euro 2020 favourites

The head coach of the Balkan nation thinks Gareth Southgate's men are front-runners for next summer's tournament, but expects great support at home
The head coach of the Balkan nation thinks Gareth Southgate's men are front-runners for next summer's tournament, but expects great support at home

Kosovo manager Bernard Challandes believes England have no equals in the attacking third of the pitch and are favourites for their first major honour since 1966 as a result.

The tiny Balkan nation had impressed in their first attempt to qualify for the European Championships and gave the Three Lions a scare in England before going down to a 5-3 defeat at St Mary's in September.

Challandes thinks players like Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford give Gareth Southgate's team the whip hand ahead of next summer's edition of UEFA's flagship international tournament.

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"We have seen all this campaign, England has the best offensive team in the world,” he told ITV Sport ahead of Sunday’s game in Pristina.

“They are the favourite for the European Championship.”

England are guaranteed qualification for next summer’s tournament, while Kosovo cannot make it directly from Group A, but have the chance to make it through a playoff after a good showing in the Nations League.

A visit from one of the powerhouses of European football is still a big occasion though, despite having little riding on it, and Challandes is certain that his team will be keen to maintain their 100 per cent home record and will have the support of the whole country behind them.

"There is big enthusiasm within the team. People are very proud of the team. The good feeling with the support can help, particularly today," he added.

"We have never lost here but we have never played against such a team as England."

A win over the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists would be a feather in the cap of a nation new to competing in top level football.

Kosovo were only officially recognised by FIFA and UEFA in 2016 and won just two of out 12 games in their first two years, failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

In 2018 they won seven games, going undefeated in their Nations League group and thereby giving them two opportunities to make it into a major championships at just the second time of asking.

Challandes, who took over at the start of that run, may view England as frontrunners next summer, but his team have also made waves.

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