France in 1992 and 2004, Czech Republic in 2000 and Germany and Spain in 2012 – England have an opportunity to join a pretty select group with victory over Lithuania on Monday.
The Three Lions are aiming to become just the sixth team to complete a European Championship qualifying campaign – which continued with a 2-0 win over Estonia last night – with a 100% record.
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And Gary Cahill, who stood in as captain for Wayne Rooney at Wembley as Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling goals made it nine from nine, admitted to BBC Sport that England are targeting the perfect 10.
The Chelsea defender is one of five players to have been left behind by Roy Hodgson, alongside Rooney, James Milner, Joe Hart and Michael Carrick, and will play no part in Vilnius, The Telegraph reports.
England should be wary that having a flawless qualification record is no guarantee of success when the Finals come around – although Spain disproved this theory by retaining their title four years ago.
Previously, Czech Republic and France had been knocked out in the group stages after 100% qualifying campaigns, while Les Bleus had also bowed out in the quarter-finals and Germany in the last four.
Rather than gimmes against the likes of Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, England’s credentials will be better tested in friendlies against defending champions Spain and hosts France next month.
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