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Euro 2024: Misfiring England face on-form Switzerland for semifinal spot as Netherlands play Turkey

England haven’t impressed so far but Gareth Southgate is looking to make his 100th game with the Three Lions a special one.


England are playing Switzerland in the quarterfinals of Euro 2024 on Saturday.

England manager Gareth Southgate says his team looks “in a different place mentally” after struggling to achieve an extra-time win over Slovakia.

Jude Bellingham is available after avoiding a ban for an offensive gesture.

Switzerland exceeded expectations by knocking out defending champion Italy. The winner will play the Netherlands or Turkey in the semifinals. Kickoff is at 18.00 in Duesseldorf.

Southgate’s caution raised hefty criticism

England are playing their fourth quarterfinal at a major tournament under manager Gareth Southgate and won two of the previous three. But his cautious tactics have brought hefty criticism from England fans, some of whom threw plastic cups at him in the group stage.

Jude Bellingham’s last-minute overhead kick to send England’s last-16 game with Slovakia to extra time has been one of the most dramatic moments of Euro 2024. Defender John Stones said Thursday that surviving that brush with elimination gave the team new confidence.

England are playing two days after a general election ended 14 years of rule by the Conservative Party. It didn’t make waves in the England camp, which Stones called a “politics-free zone. »

Bellingham avoids suspension following obscene celebration

Real Madrid’s Bellingham is available after he avoided an immediate ban from UEFA, which investigated an allegedly crude gesture he made during the Slovakia game.

UEFA fined Bellingham €30,000 and gave him a one-game ban that only takes effect if he breaks the rules again during a one-year probationary period. He has denied he was mocking Slovakia when he seemed to gesture toward his crotch.

Southgate has refused to rule out switching to a back five against Switzerland. “We’re always considering the best way to approach a game,” he said on Friday when asked about the prospect.

England defender Marc Guéhi is suspended after picking up a second booking against Slovakia. Ezri Konsa, who came off the bench in extra time in that game, is the favourite to replace him in the centre of defence alongside Stones.

Stones wore heavy strapping on his right knee in training Wednesday but said Thursday he’s fit to play.

Could Southgate’s 100th game in charge be the last with England?

Southgate is marking his 100th game in charge and it could be his last. His contract expires after the tournament and much might depend on the outcome of Saturday’s match.

“Every team wants to excite, every team wants to score goals. We’ve played opponents who’ve made it very, very difficult for us. … There’s been a lot of expectation on the team in the early part of the tournament, especially. I feel that the team, even in training now, look in a different place mentally. They look more fluid and I’m expecting us to play well tomorrow » he said before the tie.

His defender John Stones said « The other night, I thought we were going home after 60 minutes of the game. To change the mindset of us all and keep that belief and faith, it’s got a lot of power behind that for ourselves, other teams. Everyone watching at home knows that we’re there to do it right until the last minute, literally. And, I think we should take great confidence from that.”

Switzerland haven’t beaten England for 43 years, and are playing only for the thrid time in a major tournament’s quarter-final.

Swiss defender Fabian Schär warned against underestimating England.

“No matter how they played, they are in the quarterfinals, so no one is interested in how they played in the group stage and in the games before that. They have a lot of quality and any time they can hurt their opponents, so we need to be prepared for that » he said.

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