Bale prepares to down Denmark as Wales get set for last 16 clash
Keep up to date with all the latest news from Euro 2020 as England prepare to face Germany with Wales poised to kick off the round of 16 against Denmark on Saturday.
Leon Goretzka came on to their rescue Germany in the dying stages of Wednesday’s Group F conclusion, which of course means Germany travel to Wembley next Tuesday to take on England.
Though Die Mannschaft represent a tough first opponent in the knockouts, England can still count themselves lucky to have fallen on the favourable side of the draw. Wales on the other hand have a very tough run through to the latter stages of the tournament, with Denmark up first, but they also feature in the same side of the draw as France, Italy, Spain and Croatia, while Belgium take on Portugal in the standout fixture, with Cristiano Ronaldo fresh from breaking yet another international record.
Jordan Henderson, who banked a half of football in the Three Lions’ final game against Czech Republic, has moved to rally his teammates: “We’ve got quite a young squad but I think that can be a positive thing. A lot of these lads just go out and play, enjoy the game, play with no fear. And that’s what they need to do again on Tuesday. Go and enjoy it, go and show everybody how good they are. Use the emotion and passion in the right way to give you energy for the game, because that can be the difference really. As an experienced player I can help with that and make sure we’re in the right frame of mind going into the game and make sure training’s at the level it needs to be over the next few days to prepare for that one. Everybody’s confident, everybody’s feeling good and we’ve got a good few days to prepare for a huge game. But a lot of the lads have played in huge games already: Champions League finals, Champions League games, cup finals, big games for England. They’re used to big games even though they’re young and I’m sure they’re looking forward to this one.”
Follow all the latest news from the tournament as we build up to the first round of knockout games:
Euro 2020 team of the group stage
The group stage of Euro 2020 has come to a close and it’s time to pick out the best performers so far.
From the opening game which saw an impressive Italy carve apart Turkey, right through to the relentlessly insane final group games when so much was at stake between Hungary, Portugal, France and Germany, there have been exceptional showings from several players – but here we’re looking at those who have added consistency to their match-defining displays.
That can be somewhat harder when some sides were changed for the final fixture, but our selection have been noteworthy right throughout the three group games for their respective nations.
Here’s Karl Matchett with his picks:
Jack Rathborn25 June 2021 07:40
Euro 2020: Marcus Rashford focused on writing history
On Wednesday evening, as most of Europe were frantically switching between France vs Portugal and Germany vs Hungary, the England squad were doing the same.
“We were all watching together,” Marcus Rashford says. “We were watching the Portugal game and then some lads were watching the Germany game as well.
“It was all a little bit crazy, people just shouting over who scored and that. It’s nice. It’s a moment for the team to sit down and relax because, when the games are on, you are training hard every day and you very rarely get time to come away from it and just be normal people.”
Miguel Delaney spoke to Rashford about facing Germany:
Adam Millington25 June 2021 08:17
Chloe Morgan praises Manuel Neuer’s ‘significant’ gesture of rainbow armband
Manuel Neuer’s decision to wear a rainbow armband at Euro 2020 has been described as “really significant” by his fellow goalkeeper Chloe Morgan.
Germany skipper Neuer has worn the armband to show his support for the LGBT+ community during Pride Month as the team faced France, Portugal and Hungary in Group F, en route to a last-16 meeting with England at Wembley next Tuesday.
UEFA investigated whether it could be viewed as a political statement before concluding there would be no disciplinary proceedings, given Neuer was “promoting a good cause”.
The governing body subsequently declined a request by Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter for the Allianz Arena to be lit up in rainbow colours when Germany played Hungary there on Wednesday.
Regarding Neuer’s armband, Crystal Palace Women goalkeeper Morgan, a member of the LGBT+ community, told the PA news agency: “I thought it was amazing.
“I always think it’s amazing when you’ve got a sportsperson with that kind of platform who’s willing to stand up and take a stand, especially in terms of UEFA’s decision to not highlight the stadium in the Pride colours.
“Him wearing the band sent out a massive signal to the LGBT+ community that he is an ally. Credit to him for using his platform in that way. I think that was massive and that it’s much appreciated by the LGBT+ community.
“I think it’s really significant. I think when you’ve got someone who is very much in the public eye and is one of the top goalkeepers in the world, and you look at the coverage that will be around the fact he did that…I would see probably other sports stars starting to do the same and take a stand, even where you’ve got big organisations like UEFA who aren’t taking a stand.
“So that was a big thing for him to do. It might have ended up with him getting into quite a bit of trouble, but I think it was really important for the LGBT+ community to see someone who was standing up. I definitely felt a sense of allyship in him doing that for the community.”
Jack Rathborn25 June 2021 08:16
Italy and Austria unable to train at Wembley
Italy and Austria will not be able to train at Wembley ahead of their Euro 2020 last-16 tie in order to protect the pitch.
Wembley hosted all of England’s Group D matches, and will see the Three Lions return to the national stadium for their showdown against Germany on June 29.
The two semi-finals are also scheduled to be played at the north London stadium ahead of the final on July 11.
The PA news agency understands the decision not to allow both Austria and Italy to hold a training session at Wembley was taken on Thursday morning in an attempt to preserve the quality of the pitch for the match.
The playing surface has suffered with the wet and fresh weather around the last two games.
The forecast over the next couple of days is of a similar outlook, which is likely to put the pitch under further strain – especially given the England against Germany game will follow less than 72 hours later.
Italy have impressed so far, finishing top of Group A ahead of Wales, while Austria progressed as runners-up in Group C behind Holland.
Roberto Mancini’s squad are expected to train at their Coverciano base on Friday morning before flying to England later during the afternoon.
Jack Rathborn25 June 2021 08:14
England vs Germany: Lothar Matthaus dismisses Three Lions’ chance on penalties
“England have a chance to win, but not with penalties,” he said.
“With penalties I’m sure Germany will win, (England) have to win before 120 minutes.
“Germany are always very good in penalties, it’s a little bit of a joke between the Germans and the English.
“If we have to go to a penalty shoot-out I think Germany is the favourite because then you start to think about what’s happened in the last 30, 40 years, Euro 96 and other penalty shoot-outs.
“This is a lot of pressure for the English players – they read the newspapers and they know the stories about penalties. England have the chance to win the game in 90 minutes or 120 minutes but when you go to a penalty shoot-out, I think Germany is the favourite.”
Jack Rathborn25 June 2021 07:56
England vs Germany: Henderson urges Three Lions to be ‘fearless’
“We’ve got quite a young squad but I think that can be a positive thing. A lot of these lads just go out and play, enjoy the game, play with no fear. And that’s what they need to do again on Tuesday. Go and enjoy it, go and show everybody how good they are.
“Use the emotion and passion in the right way to give you energy for the game, because that can be the difference really. As an experienced player I can help with that and make sure we’re in the right frame of mind going into the game and make sure training’s at the level it needs to be over the next few days to prepare for that one.
“Everybody’s confident, everybody’s feeling good and we’ve got a good few days to prepare for a huge game. But a lot of the lads have played in huge games already: Champions League finals, Champions League games, cup finals, big games for England. They’re used to big games even though they’re young and I’m sure they’re looking forward to this one.”
Jack Rathborn25 June 2021 07:39
Raheem Sterling eager for big England performance against Germany
Raheem Sterling is relishing the challenge of putting in a “big performance” against Germany and proving England’s European Championship credentials.
Sterling and his team-mates watched Wednesday’s dramatic Group F conclusion from their St George’s Park base, where any public fear about the upcoming fixture is not shared by this group of players.
“Those games were crazy,” he said. “The France one was high quality throughout, both teams.
“I think it was one of those we know we were going to get second place in that group and we knew that it was going to be a challenge.
“I think in this tournament you need these challenges. We need now to go against Germany and we need a big performance.”
Karl Matchett24 June 2021 20:04
Covid test positive at St George’s Park as England train
England suffered a Covid scare as a journalist tested positive for the virus at St George’s Park, the base for the national team for Euro 2020.
The Sky Sports reporter was asked to leave the premises, along with a cameraman from the broadcaster.
Regulations have become particularly severe after Chelsea Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were forced to self-isolate for 10 days following a chat with Scotland midfielder and club teammate Billy Gilmour – who subsequently tested positive – following the 0-0 draw in Group D.
Karl Matchett24 June 2021 19:46
Training blow for Italy and Austria as Wembley suffers washout
The round of 16 ties start on Saturday, with Italy vs Austria one of the two games that day. It takes place at Wembley and usually the nations would be allowed to train there in preparation for the match – but not this time.
Bad weather and the number of games recently mean the pitch condition has deteriorated and, with England playing Germany on the same surface just a few days later, the decision has been made to cancel the planned practice sessions.
Wembley will also host the semi-finals and final this year.
Karl Matchett24 June 2021 19:27
England ready for penalty shootout in Euro 2020 knockouts
Jordan Henderson says the modern-day Three Lions aren’t concerned with having to be involved in penalty shootouts, a feeling at-odds with long-time supporters of the national team who are scarred from multiple failures from the spot during tournaments.
The Liverpool skipper says there haven’t been any discussions from the squad around Euro 96 – where England lost to Germany on penalties – and there’s no mental block over a normal part of the game they actually had success in at the last World Cup.
“No, we haven’t spoke about it and I’m not sure if we will either,” he said.
“I think a lot of talk will be on penalties but for us, being in a penalty shoot-out not so long ago (against Colombia in the 2018 World Cup) and we practice penalties all the time, it’s just part and parcel of football now. In tournaments especially.”
Karl Matchett24 June 2021 18:46