Last night, Gareth Southgate’s men did it. They took their place amongst the final 16 teams remaining in Euro 2020 – and they didn’t even need to kick a ball to get there.
The structure of this year’s international tournament means that whilst the top two teams in each group automatically go through to the next round, four of the best third-placed teams also accompany them.
Monday’s results saw Ukraine surrender Group C’s second spot to Austria, whilst Finland were leapfrogged by Denmark in Group B.
This meant Ukraine and Finland finished third in their respective groups on three points apiece.
England, meanwhile, already have four points.
What this all means is that Southgate’s men can – at worst – finish third and still go through.
England will join Wales, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Belgium in the next round of the tournament – having already amassed enough points in their own group to book a spot in the knockout stages.
But where exactly they will end up in the final group table – and who they will play in the final 16 – is not so certain.
England’s next fixture will be determined by their result against group leaders Czech Republic tonight (June 22) – who are also through.
An England win would see them top the group – meaning they would face the Group F runner-up at Wembley next week. This could be world champions France, reigning Euros champions Portugal, Germany or Hungary.
No easy games there.
If England fail to beat Czech Republic, they could finish second – meaning a fixture against the runners-up from Group E in Copenhagen.
That would be either Spain, Slovakia, Sweden or Poland.
If the Three Lions finish third, they could also end up meeting any of those same four nations. Other possible opponents include the Netherlands and Belgium.
Elsewhere in their group, England’s neighbours Scotland square off against Croatia – knowing that anything less than a win will signal the end of their Euros campaign.
Both England and Scotland are reeling from a positive COVID-19 test from Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour, who is judged to have been in close contact with Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount during the 0-0 draw between the home nations last weekend.
All three players now have to isolate and may be unavailable for selection.
England play Czech Republic tonight at Wembley in the final Group D game. Kick-off is 8pm and the match will be broadcast on ITV.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
Tyson Fury calls Usyk and Joshua ‘s***houses’ and doubts AJ fight will happen
Tyson Fury is at it again on social media, blasting both Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk after the latter suggested he was “afraid” of him.
While Fury is beginning preparations for his fight against AJ due to be held this December, Usyk attempted to rattle the Gypsy King’s cage in the meantime.
Speaking in an interview on his YouTube channel, the Ukrainian said, “Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me.” It didn’t take long for Tyson to respond in kind:
As you can see, the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight spends nearly a full minute shouting expletives, calling Usyk a “little s***house and a ‘little s***bag” before warning, “I’ll put my fist right through the side of you, you little sausage.”
Rubbishing the suggestion he is scared and dishing out some trash talk of his own, Fury then goes on to call out another “s***house”, as he puts it, labelling Joshua a “big bodybuilder” rather than a boxer and suggesting that he has been delaying signing the contract.
Despite Warren stating that terms would be agreed sometime soon, the long-awaited all-British bout could still be in doubt as we’ve already seen one potential fight disintegrate in the 11th hour.
AJ is coming off back-to-back defeats against Usyk, who he’d no doubt hoped to beat on his way to finally facing Fury. Nevertheless, the WBC champion believes he does want it at all, remarking: “You little sausage, you do not wanna fight, your manager’s a sausage.
The rant continues in a similar vein, with Fury adding: “I’ve never seen anything like yous, both a pack of s***houses.
“However, I will be fighting 3 December if this sausage does not sign the contract, which I don’t think he [will] because I don’t think he’s got the b****cks to, because he’s a s***bag.
It remains to be seen what kind of response Joshua will give and if the fight will finally be locked in. All we know is that it’ll be a big disappointment for fight fans if the match-up falls apart again.
Featured Image – Tyson Fury (via Twitter)
Jack Grealish offers perfect response to Graeme Souness’ invitation for a pint
Jack Grealish has offered the perfect response after former player turned pundit Graeme Souness said he’d like to go out for a pint with him.
Phoning into to talkSPORT radio to try and dismiss the suggestion that he has an agenda against the Manchester City star, Souness said he has “absolutely no” problem with Jack and that he only has his manager to impress.
Defending his stance on the player, he added that outside of football and his professional critique, he’d “love a night out with him”. It was this comment that saw the City no.10 come up with the perfect reply.
As you can see, Grealish jokingly responded by saying ‘let’s do it!! As long as I can bring Pogba as a +1″. Well played, Jack, well played indeed.
If you’ve paid any kind of attention to football five years or so, the 69-year-old former Liverpool player has long-held a reputation for homing in on select players with his criticism, none more so than former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Well, only Pogba, really.
Having taken umbrage with everything from his haircut and work rate to his style and perceived attitude on and off the pitch, the Scot’s seemingly unwavering problem with the Frenchman became one of the biggest football memes in history.
That being said, since Pogba left the Premier League it would seem the Brummy boy has become Souness latest target, labelling him a “precious” player and suggesting that he is “not a quick learner”.
Their spat is now getting so much publicity in fact that even prior to his social media quip, the 27-year-old even took time out of training at the latest England camp to address the situation, insisting: “I don’t know what problem to he’s got”.
Explaining his criticism during the broadcast, Souness went on to argue that while he doesn’t have a problem with the “cheeky chappy”, he does thinks he “technically fantastic”, he still believes he’s “entitled to an opinion”.
He went on to argue that pundits can’t be critical of “modern players” these days, even citing the reaction to his own feud with Pogba and arguing he was proved “100% right at the end of the day”.
Despite retaining his place in the England squad and opening his account in the league for City last weekend, Souness believes that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Grealish is among the “great” players in the Prem right now.
While he hasn’t been a regular starter for Pep’s side since arriving as the most expensive British signing of all-time, he is still one of the nation’s brightest talents and his international break would be a great opportunity to make a point.