Countdown to Euro 2020: Daily briefing
Gareth Southgate confirmed Ben White as likely the final piece to his England squad after losing Trent Alexander-Arnold to injury with the Brighton defender providing cover for Harry Maguire, who is contending with an injury just days out from the start of Euro 2020.
The Three Lions are now finalising preparation for the opener on Sunday against Croatia, while fellow Group D opponents Scotland will face Czech Republic on Monday.
Wales will be the first of the home nations to play in Euro 2020 when they kick off against Switzerland on Saturday.
Southgate must now finalise his line-up against the World Cup finalists after losing the Liverpool star last Thursday after sustaining an injury in the 1-0 friendly victory over Austria on Wednesday.
England emerged 1-0 winners again on Sunday against Romania, courtesy of a Marcus Rashford penalty, and now Southgate has opted for the Brighton star in place of Alexander-Arnold, perhaps hinting at Harry Maguire’s injury status.
“Absolutely,” Southgate said when asked if he wants to see a defensive improvement from the Three Lions. “I didn’t like us without the ball in the first half but that was the whole team. That started from the front.
“We weren’t disciplined in the way we defended. Our recovery runs were not good enough. It meant that the midfield was stretched the back players had too many decisions to make. They were having to come in spaces where they shouldn’t have needed to be.
“Without doubt we can improve on that. I have also got to allow the team that played the reality that we had made a lot of changes and had to preserve some players and give others minutes that they needed.
“There is a lot of work to be done on the training ground as without a doubt we cannot give up the number of chances we did today and not expect to be punished.”
Euro 2020 sweepstake: Download and print
Euro 2020 is finally upon us with the cream of European football set to battle it out for the right be crowned the continent’s best.
It all kicks off on Friday evening when Italy and Turkey get us underway – 12 months after they were meant to – in Rome.
England begin their quest to bring football home on Sunday against Croatia with Wales, who did so well in France five years ago, and Scotland, back at a major tournament for the first time in 23 years, also hoping to contend.
But who will win? World Cup winners France have as good a chance as any with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba surely set to fire them deep into the competition. Defending champions Portugal boast their best squad in years and with Cristiano Ronaldo still firing stand as good a chance as any.
Jack Rathborn8 June 2021 14:24
Slovakia Euro 2020 squad guide
Slovakia took the scenic route to Euro 2020, conquering both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the Nations League play-offs to book their spot, having been edged out of regular qualifying by Wales.
Manager Stefan Tarkovic was parachuted in for the final against the Northern Irish, a bold move which brought the desired results. Not only did he secure their passage to a third major tournament since the country’s independence in 1993, but he followed that up with an unbeaten start to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in March, culminating in an impressive 2-1 over Russia.
That match may provide the blueprint for how Slovakia approach the tournament, with a 4-2-3-1 setup built around a spine of Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar and Parma midfielder Juraj Kucka, the national captain.
Jack Rathborn8 June 2021 14:49
Turkey Euro 2020 squad guide
Turkey return to the European Championships with all the tools to cause an upset or two and replicate their iconic performances at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008.
In his second spell in charge of The Crescent-Stars, having inspired the memorable run in Korea and Japan, Şenol Güneş has built a dangerous side capable of providing a scare against any of Europe’s more illustrious opponents.
Despite eventually finishing as runners-up to France in qualification, their victory over the world champions in Konya proved to be far from a one-off, with Germany and Croatia held to 3-3 friendly draws and the Netherlands beaten 4-2 in World Cup qualification earlier this year.
Jack Rathborn8 June 2021 14:42
Florenzi excited for ‘emotional’ Olimpico return ahead of Italy’s Euro 2020 opener
Roma loanee Alessandro Florenzi insists it will be “emotional” when he returns to the Olimpico with Italy for the Euro 2020 opener against Turkey.
The 30-year-old joined Paris Saint-Germain on loan with an option to buy last summer but there’s is excitement for the Azzurri’s first game of this summer’s tournament in front of home support.
“They are always few in a stadium with a capacity of 80,000, even though they are in 15,000 or 16,000,” Florenzi said.
“However, it will be an emotional return to a pitch that has given me so much, which has seen me grow.
“It will be a great feeling, we hope to put down a good performance and to start well.”
Jack Rathborn8 June 2021 14:23
ENGLAND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ben White (on previous tournament failures for England): “Obviously we had a video which showed everything to do with the history of England and the players’ struggles coming through the years.
“It’s obviously a massive moment. The team now is a very good group and I think we’re looking good.
“I think it’s a different group, different atmosphere and a different way of playing. Everyone is looking sharp. We’ll see.”
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 14:11
ENGLAND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ben White (on Leeds loan): “It is very surreal, going to Leeds I did not expect to play the amount of games I did. To go up as champions and playing every minute was incredible. I played nearly every game in the Premier League this season too.
“I wasn’t made last year, I have worked hard for 10 years. It does not suddenly come in a year and my previous loans helped me build.”
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 14:10
ENGLAND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ben White (on training): “The last week has been very different to what I’m used to. You get your rest days at club level.
“It’s been really tough these last few days but it shows the level all these players are at and the level I have to get to.”
On playing in a back three and a back four: “I don’t think it’s too far away from what I’ve been doing all season. It’s good to find out different ways to play and different options in the game.”
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 13:57
ENGLAND PRESS CONFERENCE
Ben White on (being rejected by Southampton at 16): “It has always been my passion [to play football]. The day I did get released I spoke to my mum and she asked if I wanted to be a footballer and phone around and managed to get me some trials at different places.
“I was probably on holiday watching the 2018 World Cup, I watch the England games with my mum.”
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 13:56
Euro 2020 news: van de Beek had been using painkillers for weeks
Donny van de Beek has been training and playing using painkillers for weeks.
However, Netherlands national team doctor Edwin Goedhart ruled him out of Euro 2020 after consultation with the player. Perhaps the injury worsened.
Heartbreak for van de Beek.
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 13:55
England press conference build-up: Henderson and Maguire are ‘too good’ to be excluded
One final piece of insight from former-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson, as he said Gareth Southgate was right in taking Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire to the Euros despite them not being fully fit.
“I think it’s right to take them because they are too good not to be in the squad.
“England will be in the tournament for a long time. You can gamble on them not playing in the first game or two. We had it a few years back with Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. You have to take them!
“If you don’t take them, you will regret it because you’ll never know what would have happened with them.”
Andrew Gamble8 June 2021 13:44