Wembley to hold 60,000 for Euro 2020 final - as Angela Merkel casts doubt on 'packed stadiums'

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euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - David Klein /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - David Klein /Sportimage

The Government confirmed more than 60,000 fans would be able to attend the European Championship semi-finals and final, despite a last-minute plea from Angela Merkel to avoid a “packed” Wembley.

Germany’s chancellor said she opposed “packed stadiums” for the matches, while the European Union’s top lawmaker on health issues, Peter Liese, went further by writing to Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin urging him to strip the UK of the games.

But that failed to prevent the Government confirming that capacity at the fixtures would be increased from around 40,000 in defiance of calls led by Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, who on Monday announced plans to hijack the final and bring it to Rome.

Uefa had already made clear it had no plans to strip Wembley of the games and Ceferin welcomed the increased capacity for them.

“It is great news that so many fans will be able to watch the final three matches of the Euro 2020 at Wembley,” he said.

“The last 18 months have taught us – both on and off the pitch – how integral fans are to the fabric of the game.

“This tournament has been a beacon of hope to reassure people that we are returning to a more normal way of life and this is a further step along that road.

“I am grateful to the Prime Minister and the UK Government for their hard work in finalising these arrangements with us, to make the tournament final stages a great success in Wembley.”

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Alex Livesey - Uefa /Uefa
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Alex Livesey - Uefa /Uefa

Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the Football Association, added: “It is great that the government has agreed to allow over 60,000 fans in Wembley for the final three matches of the tournament. It’s amazing how much atmosphere fans have been able to generate so far, so to have three times as many will be fantastic.

“We have always said that fans are the lifeblood of the game, so it’s brilliant that so many will get a chance to see the tournament finale. We hope that this programme lays the foundation for the safe return of fans in stadiums all across the country next season.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We are thrilled that more fans will now be able to walk through the Wembley turnstiles and enjoy the finals of Euro 2020.

“As we continue to make progress on our roadmap out of lockdown, keeping the public safe remains our top priority. We have worked extremely closely with Uefa and the FA to ensure rigorous public health measures are in place whilst allowing more fans to see the action live.

“The finals promise to be an unforgettable moment in our national recovery from the pandemic.”

A deal was also close to being struck that would controversially exempt up to 2,500 foreign media and VIPs from having to quarantine upon travelling to the UK for the games to prevent them being moved to Budapest.

The Government could do the same for a very small number of fans from any country playing in them but was otherwise set to rule there were enough foreign nationals living in Britain to ensure both finalists would be well supported.

Merkel joined Draghi in expressing reservations about the Wembley semi-finals and final. She said: “I hope that Uefa will act responsibly with regard to the Euro matches. I would not like to see packed stadiums there, and I support all efforts made by the British government to enforce the necessary hygiene measures.”

Liese, who speaks on health matters on behalf of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest grouping in the European Parliament, sent a letter to Ceferin, urging him to choose another location for the final.

“The alternative venues should not be chosen by Uefa according to where the most spectators are allowed, but according to which stadium or city has the best hygiene concept and where health protection is best guaranteed,” said Liese, a member of the same party as Merkel.

The Government also said that it expected UK residents who had tickets for the semi-finals and final before Euro 2020 was postponed last summer, and who lost them when attendances were slashed, would be “at the front of the queue” to go to the games.

03:00 PM

1 hour until Group C kicks-off its deciders

We are just an hour away from the deciding games in Group C, with North Macedonia facing the Netherlands in Amsterdam and Ukraine facing Austria in Bucharest.

As with all matches this tournament, you can keep track of these games right here with Telegraph Sport. My colleague Alan Tyers is here to take you through Ukraine v Austria, and you can follow all the build-up here.

Jake Goodwill is also on hand to guide you through the Netherlands v North Macedonia match, and you can follow along with him here. It promises to be another entertaining evening across the continent.

02:47 PM

The Harry Kane blueprint: How to get the best out of England's subdued superstar

Kane will have another chance to overcome his worrying slump when he starts against Czech Republic on Tuesday.

In his first two games at Euro 2020, England talisman Harry Kane has mustered just three shots at goal - with none hitting the target. So what is going wrong for the Spurs star - and how can it be fixed? Our experts suggest what is required to draw the best out of England's No 9.

Telegraph Sport's stable of brilliant writers break down how this can happen, and you can read in detail here.

02:33 PM

Harry Kane transfer latest: Manchester City put together £100m opening offer for Tottenham striker

Away from the tournament briefly, Matt Law is reporting Tottenham are insistent they have not yet received an official bid but City are looking to get negotiations underway for the England captain.

Manchester City have started the ball rolling on their bid to try to lure Harry Kane away from Tottenham Hotspur by telling the England striker that they have put together an opening offer worth up to £100million.

City are believed to have communicated to Kane that they have structured a bid worth an initial £85m, plus £15m in add-ons and first refusal on their unwanted players.

It is unlikely that will be received well by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, who values Kane at £150m and is unlikely to be impressed by the fact City’s intentions have been made public.

Levy is likely to seek more face-to-face talks with Kane this summer over the England captain’s future and to see whether or not there is any way of convincing him to stay.

You can read Matt's full report here.

02:21 PM

Croatia will not benefit from Gilmour's absence, says manager Dalic

Reuters.

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour being sidelined with Covid-19 will not help underperforming Croatia in their crunch Euro 2020 Group D match on Tuesday, coach Zlatko Dalic said.

The 20-year-old Gilmour, who stood out in Friday's 0-0 draw with England at Wembley in his first start for Scotland, will self-isolate for 10 days in line with health protocols but Dalic said Scotland had plenty of depth in their squad.

"Gilmour played really well against England but up to that game he was never a first-choice option and he may not have even started against us," Dalic told a news conference on Monday. "I don’t see his absence as our advantage because whoever replaces him will be a more experienced player. Having said that, I wish Gilmour a speedy recovery."

Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runners-up, were well below par in their 1-0 defeat by England followed by a 1-1 draw with the Czechs and Dalic conceded they faced a tough challenge against the Scots at Hampden Park.

"This is our last chance to qualify for the knockout stages and we have to do everything in our power to make it happen, he said. "Scotland have shown their quality against England but we have to head out to the pitch as favourites.

"We need to be patient and not throw caution to the wind and it doesn’t matter how late we leave it as long as we win."

Winger Ivan Perisic, one of the few regulars assured of starting against the Scots after drilling in a superb equaliser against the Czechs, was confident.

"We haven't looked the part in the opening two games but we have to forget that now so we can come together and once again produce our best football under intense pressure," he said.

"The good thing is that Scotland too have to go for a win and I am optimistic that we have it in us to come out on top."

02:07 PM

Barbers got us in trim for Slovakia win, says Sweden's Robin Quaison

Reuters.

Sweden's Robin Quaison won the penalty for Emil Forsberg to score in their 1-0 win over Slovakia that put them top of their Euro 2020 group - but the striker credits a team of barbers.

The three hairdressers visited Sweden's camp in the west coast city of Gothenburg ahead of the game to administer buzz cuts and beard trims so players could look their best.

"Without the barbers, we would have drawn. With them, we won," Quaison joked with reporters. "It's really important, it gives great self-confidence to get your hair fixed and you play better football."

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV /Pool via REUTERS 
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV /Pool via REUTERS

Defender Mikael Lustig said there was no danger of bringing Covid-19 into the Swedes' bubble as they took precautionary measures before the snipping started.

"We take it very seriously. They were booked previously..we sat outside and they wore visors and they were tested beforehand," Lustig said. "It's not the case that we took in some jokers off the street, it was very serious."

Sweden face Poland in their final Group E game in St Petersburg on Wednesday, where a win would see them top the group ahead of Spain and Slovakia, who meet in the other game.

01:51 PM

'You are so good looking': How Scotland tried to keep Jack Grealish quiet

Stephen O'Donnell tormented Grealish with compliments, on the advice of John McGinn, reports Roddy Forsyth.

As they prepare for a crucial meeting with Croatia which could see them progress from the Euros group stage for the first time, Scotland have not indulged in gloating about their much-praised performance in Friday’s goalless draw with England at Wembley.

That said, Stephen O’Donnell - declared man of the match by the Scotland manager, Steve Clarke - did reveal that he had tormented Jack Grealish with compliments, on the advice of Grealish’s Aston Villa team mate John McGinn.

“So, the second he came on I was telling him how good looking he was, that I loved his calves and asking him how he got his hair to look like that,” O’Donnell said. “I was told if you kick him or get him really hard, he gets back up and at you.”

You can read all the details on the Scottish mind games here.

01:35 PM

'Scotland are world champions at screwing up - but this time really can be different'

I look at our players and the way they played at Wembley and can’t help but get carried away more than I ever have as a supporter, says Ally McCoist.

There is one thing Scotland are world champions at and that is finding a way of failing to qualify for the knockout stages of a major competition. And it’s not just football, we can do it in all sports. That is our trait.

But I genuinely think we can do it. I look at our players and the way they played at Wembley and can’t help but get carried away more than I ever have as a supporter. I’m just praying to god that Billy Gilmour, John McGinn and those boys don’t suffer the same disappointment that I did.

You can go down the years I played and it was just sheer heartache at trying to get out of the group, starting with Brazil’s late goal at the World Cup in 1990. At the Euros in 1992 and 1996, we would have qualified had the rules been the same as they are for the current tournament.

I’m just hoping and keeping everything crossed that we’re not going to find a new way of doing it. These guys are young and have a lack of fear. Even against Czech Republic, they were beaten by a couple of great goals but weren’t scared or fearful.

You can read Ally's views in full here.

01:20 PM

Scotland players test negative for Covid-19

Following Billy Gilmour's positive Covid-19 result, the other 25 players in the Scotland squad trained on Monday morning and all tested negative from precautionary lateral flow tests immediately afterwards.

It is understood the Scotland camp are confident no players will be deemed close contacts of Gilmour when Public Health England completes its review of the situation.

The squad are travelling up from their camp in the north east of England to Glasgow on two planes to ensure strict social distancing.

01:04 PM

Jamie Carragher: My England XI to beat Czech Republic

Getting the England squad ready for the knockout stages should be Gareth Southgate's focus, says the former Liverpool and England defender.

areth Southgate has confirmed Harry Kane will start, but as I wrote after the goalless draw with Scotland I would have given him a rest to prepare for the last sixteen.

If Kane scores, many will say he has ‘proved people wrong’. Football has evolved beyond the point where a striker’s performance is judged solely on whether he scored. It’s the general play for 90 minutes which must be of the highest standard. That is what the top coaches judge.

The days when converting a penalty or scoring a tap-in is considered 'job done' are long over. Kane doing so against the Czech Republic will be no measure of form for the rest of the tournament unless the overall level improves.

Elsewhere, it makes sense to bring in Harry Maguire to get him up to speed for the rest of the competition. Kyle Walker’s experience was missed against Scotland, and I do not think Reece James did enough to keep him out. As well as Kieran Trippier played against Croatia, Luke Shaw is worth persisting with for his attacking threat because England sure to have more possession against the Czechs.

You can view Jamie's XI in full here.

12:46 PM

England's Euro 2020 route to the knockouts: Is it better to finish first or second in Group D?

England face a similar scenario to the 2018 World Cup when finishing second in the group potentially gives an easier route to progress. With four of the best third-placed teams qualifying, predicting an advantageous position to finish in the group is a minefield. Thankfully, Mike McGrath has done the hard work for us.

The boos summed up the mood at Wembley after a dismal draw with Scotland meant England will face a battle to top Group D in Tuesday’s final round of matches. However, all sides involved will be wondering whether finishing second in the group is actually an advantage.

It is a similar situation to three years ago, when Gareth Southgate rotated eight players for the final World Cup Group game against Belgium, with the argument being that if England lost, they would be in the easier half of the draw, particularly by avoiding Brazil.

Southgate’s second string duly lost 1-0 and almost took full advantage of how the draw panned out, beating Colombia and Sweden before being eliminated by Croatia in the semi-finals.

The same could happen this time as the Three Lions look to Tuesday’s game with Czech Republic, with Scotland facing Croatia, in the battle to top the group.

Take a look at Mike's prediction here.

12:28 PM

Want England to win? End the ITV jinx and keep matches on the BBC

A fascinating analysis from Thom Gibbs shows the national side's win percentage during tournaments is significantly lower for games on ITV than BBC — and guess who's showing Tuesday's game?

For England fans who believe in portents and lucky radiators it's bad news in this build-up to Tuesday's game against the Czech Republic: ITV is the broadcaster.

Despite enormous strides in its coverage and punditry line-up, which has frequently made it a better watch than the BBC this summer, its record with England games is oddly poor.

The national side's matches were often shared between broadcasters in tournaments past, with the odd exclusive. This practice only finished in 2000, when the BBC and ITV both showed England's Euro group-stage victory over Germany. The 1996 semi-final between the same sides was also on both channels.

Since France 1998 most England games have been on either one or the other. Of course both broadcasters would share the rights if England reached a final. Amazingly, this has yet to come about.

You can read Thom's full breakdown of the ITV curse here.

12:14 PM

Select your England XI to face the Czech Republic

About 30 hours now until England's final group game against the Czech Republic, in which Gareth Southgate's men need at least a point to guarantee safe passage into the last 16.

With question marks looming over Harry Kane's form and Harry Maguire's fitness, the England boss has a number of selection headaches. If you were in his shoes, who would you choose? Give it a go on our selector tool below and let us know in the comments:

11:57 AM

Rob Page lauds Wales for overcoming 'logistical nightmare' to reach the last 16

PA.

Robert Page admits Wales have overcome a logistical "nightmare" to reach the knockout stage of Euro 2020. Wales booked their place in the round of 16 on Sunday despite losing 1-0 to Italy in Rome.

The Dragons finished above Switzerland on goal difference to take second place in Group A and now head to Amsterdam where Denmark, Finland or Russia will be waiting on Saturday.

Wales are among the nations that have travelled the most miles at Euro 2020, having played their opening two games in the Azerbaijani capital Baku before moving on to Rome.

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Uefa/Uefa
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Uefa/Uefa

Interim boss Page said: "It's not been easy because we've had to go to Baku and then travel to Italy. Now we're going to have to go to Amsterdam. On paper it sounds like a great idea to have it all round Europe. But logistically it is an absolute nightmare - and throw Covid into the mix as well."

"The team we've got behind us that people don't see deserve a lot of credit. Covid makes the job harder. But it is what it is and we have to get on with it. We've got to prepare well to give us the best chance for Saturday."

Wales have chosen to stay in Rome before finalising their build-up plans for the round of 16.

11:41 AM

60,000 to be at Wembley for the final

A deal is close to being struck to keep the European Championship final at Wembley – which could see capacity at the game increased to 60,000, reports Ben Rumsby.

The Daily Telegraph has been told an announcement may be made as early as Tuesday that would also exempt around 2,500 foreign media and VIPs from having to quarantine upon travelling to the UK for the match.

That game may now be played in front of a two-thirds full Wembley to match the 60,000 crowd on offer from rival venue Budapest.

High-level talks were already taking place after Uefa wrote to the Government complaining its current restrictions were too tight.

Those restrictions would need to be relaxed for overseas fans and dignitaries to attend the July 11 final given all other nations involved in Euro 2020 are either on the amber travel list or, in the case of Turkey, the red list.

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - David Klein /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - David Klein /Sportimage

Uefa’s ability to invite media, sponsors, broadcasters and VIPs is likely to be what ultimately determines whether the final remains in London, or is moved to another country such as Hungary, where restrictions are far more relaxed.

Unlike for the Champions League final, a compromise agreement appears set to allow some VIPs in. Telegraph Sport has been told Uefa wrote to the Government outlining its requests after ministers announced the final four Euro 2020 matches at Wembley would be played in front of at least 40,000 spectators.

Uefa said in a statement that it was “delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50 per cent”.

11:28 AM

From a back-flick to his blazer, Roberto Mancini is the manager Euro 2020 needs

Of all those on the touchline at this tournament, Mancini is proving the man to watch, says Jim White.

When Neco Williams mishit a crossfield pass during Wales’ game against Italy he cannot have appreciated that he was about to become the warm-up act to the moment of the Euros so far.

The ball drifted out of play towards the Italian manager Roberto Mancini, who was standing in his technical area in a crisp white shirt, Italian FA tie and smartly tailored black trousers. As it headed in his direction, however, the former Manchester City boss took no heed of the threat to his attire. Instead, he took half a pace backwards before attempting one of the toughest technical skills in the game: the overhead back-heeled flick. He didn’t properly connect, the ball spun off his shiny black loafer and skimmed away off his back. But that didn’t matter. He did not for a moment flinch, did not look remotely embarrassed. He remained ineffably cool.

You can read more of Jim's love letter to the handsome Italian here.

11:12 AM

England prepare for Czech Republic in pictures

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - CARL RECINE /REUTERS
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - CARL RECINE /REUTERS
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - JUSTIN TALLIS /AFP
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - JUSTIN TALLIS /AFP
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - CARL RECINE /REUTERS
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - CARL RECINE /REUTERS
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Nick Potts /PA
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Nick Potts /PA

10:57 AM

German quartet skips training with injuries from Portugal win

Reuters.

Four German players were nursing injuries from their 4-2 victory over Portugal at the weekend in Euro 2020 and skipped training on Monday, the team said.

Defenders Mats Hummels and Lukas Halstenberg, who came on as a substitute, as well as midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller, were all missing from training at their Herzogenaurach base north of Munich.

The team statement did not mention the four's prospects for making Wednesday's final group game against Hungary.

It said Hummels and Mueller were nursing different knee injuries, with the latter sustaining a capsule injury in his right knee during Saturday's Group F win over Portugal. Gundogan and Halstenberg had suffered muscle injuries.

Germany have three points, as many as Portugal and one behind group leaders France. They will advance with a victory over Hungary but could also qualify with a draw if France do not lose their game against the Portuguese. The Hungarians, in last place with one point, need to win to have any chance of progressing.

10:43 AM

Entire England camp return negative Covid tests

All 26 England players and the support staff have returned negative PCR tests, reports our Football Correspondent Matt Law.

The news will come as a great relief for the England set-up, after Scotland's Billy Gilmour tested positive for Covid-19 today. England faced Scotland on Friday night at Wembley and several of the England players were seen hugging and speaking with Gilmour at full time.

England will have a full training session today and Gareth Southgate will have a full complement of players to choose from for the match against the Czech Republic tomorrow evening.

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10:32 AM

The five key decisions that will define Euro 2020 for Gareth Southgate and England

The manager's safety-first decisions have put him and his players under pressure as they prepare for third and final group game, says our Football News Correspondent Matt Law.

England manager Gareth Southgate said it himself. With an hour gone and the game goalless against Scotland, the third-lowest ranked team at the European Championship, the priority became not to lose rather than gambling for the victory.

“In the end, not enough to win but when you can't win it’s critical not to lose,” said Southgate, who added: “It's easy to gamble towards the end, lose the game and you're kicking yourself for not managing the tournament.”

It was the sort of pragmatism that could yet serve England well in the Euros, with Portugal and Greece both successful examples of the cautious approach. But it is his safety-first decisions that have put Southgate and his players under pressure as they prepare for the third and final group game against Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

If England ultimately fail to meet expectations in this tournament, Southgate will be defined by five key decisions that have so far marked him out as a cautious coach.

You can read Matt's five key points in full here.

10:18 AM

Germany's slow Euro start not a bad thing, says Joachim Low

Reuters.

Germany's unexpectedly flamboyant 4-2 victory over holders Portugal not only boosted their chances of a Euro 2020 knockout spot but also triggered belated enthusiasm among fans that they could actually battle for the title.

"With the win over Portugal we arrived at the tournament," said Joachim Low, whose side need a win against Hungary in their last Group F match on Wednesday to guarantee qualification.

Low will leave at the end of the tournament after 15 years in charge including the 2014 World Cup title. He would love to finish on another high and confound the unusually low expectations for Germany going into this European Championship.

"Our win over Portugal was deserved. Such a success gives you a certain strength and in a tournament it is all about taking one step at a time. The game against Hungary could be even tougher because they will not play so high up."

The three-time European and four-time world champions are desperate to make amends for their first round shock 2018 World Cup exit and a string of disappointing results since. After a lacklustre opening defeat to tournament favourites France, the Germans turned on the turbo against the Portuguese with a superb attacking performance that transformed them from underdogs to contenders.

"There are enough strong teams in the tournament," Low said. "But those teams that play two perfect games in the first round, where everything seems to work like clockwork, have only rarely gone on to win tournaments."

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - BSR Agency /Getty Images Europe 
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - BSR Agency /Getty Images Europe

The Germans will need to draw on their new confidence against the Hungarians, who are also in the running to advance after earning a hard-fought 1-1 draw with France.

Germany have three points, as many as Portugal and one behind group leaders France. They will advance with a victory but could also qualify with a draw if France do not lose their game against the Portuguese. Hungary, in last place on one point, need a win to have any hope of progressing.

Playing in front of a home crowd in Munich, the Germans are expected to attack again from the start, with Low unlikely to tinker with his frontline, after he had also kept it unchanged against Portugal from their France defeat.

Serge Gnabry is set to reprise his role as centre forward with Thomas Mueller and Kai Havertz either side and speedy holding midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens charging down their wings.

"Against Hungary we must now pick up where we left off and improve further," Low added.

10:06 AM

Matej Vydra cools new 'golden generation' talk as confident Czechs eye England shock

Czech Republic might be well down the list of Euros contenders but there is belief they can cause an upset, reports our Chief Football Correspondent Jason Burt.

Matej Vydra likes the phrase “dark horses” when it comes to describing the Czech Republic’s chances at Euro 2020. “Maybe that is what we are. A bit like Greece,” he says before adding: “Unfortunately we all remember Greece in 2004.”

Unfortunately, that is, for the Czechs. That European Championships in Portugal was supposed to belong to their ‘golden generation’ – the outstanding team of Pavel Nedved, Tomas Rosicky and Petr Cech – who lost out 1-0 in the semi-finals to a ‘Silver Goal’ (a controversial, short-lived concept by which the team leading after the first 15 minutes of extra-time would win) scored by the Greeks.

It was a Czech side, Vydra argues, even better than the one that reached the final of Euro 96 at Wembley. “It was the best in our history,” the Burnley striker says. “If you check the names it was amazing. They should have won the tournament. You know the style that Greece played was like ‘parking the bus’ in the goal. With the silver goal everyone was upset.

You can read Jason's report in full here.

09:52 AM

Ousmane Dembele ruled out for remainder of Euro 2020

France forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out of Euro 2020 with an injury, the French football federation said.

Dembele limped off the pitch during the world champions' 1-1 Group F draw against Hungary on Saturday. He had been brought on as a second-half substitute but was forced off with an injury around 20 minutes after his introduction.

He will reportedly leave the French camp today to return to his club Barcelona for rehab.

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Alex Livesey - Uefa/Uefa
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Alex Livesey - Uefa/Uefa

"Ousmane Dembele had an X-ray at the Budapest hospital on Sunday night," the FFF said in a statement, without elaborating on the nature of the injury.

"The recovery time is incompatible with him staying in the squad. After discussing with the player and (team doctor) Franck le Gall, (coach) Didier Deschamps has acknowledged that Ousmane Dembele is ruled out for the rest of the tournament."

09:39 AM

Declan Rice vs Tomas Soucek: The West Ham battle that could define England vs Czech Republic

Great friends at club level but foes on the international stage, the battle between Rice and Soucek may decide the match on Tuesday, says Sam Dean.

After a season beyond all expectations, it is hardly the time for West Ham United to ruminate on what might have been.

David Moyes and his players know they could not reasonably have asked for more than a sixth-placed finish, which guaranteed qualification for European football. And yet, scratching at the back of their minds still, there is a small but unavoidable sense of resentment.

There are those within the club who believe that, if Declan Rice had not been absent for six crucial games in the run-in, they might have qualified for the Champions League. At the time of his knee injury, which he picked up playing for England in March, they were only two points off fourth place. When he returned, that gap had extended to six points.

The feeling at West Ham is that the absence of Rice was a double blow. Firstly, they were robbed of one of the most commanding defensive midfielders in the Premier League. Secondly, and crucially, his absence also meant they lost the considerable attacking prowess of Tomas Soucek, his midfielder partner.

You can read Sam's analysis in full here.

09:30 AM

Austria keen to make history against Ukraine, says David Alaba

Reuters.

Austria's Euro 2020 group game against Ukraine tonight will feel like a final as they bid to reach the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in 39 years, captain David Alaba said.

Austria, who have not gone beyond the group stage since the 1982 World Cup, are third in Group C on three points, behind second-placed Ukraine on goal difference.

A draw in their final group game would be enough for Ukraine to finish second behind the Netherlands, who have already qualified, but Austria will advance if they win at Bucharest.

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Robert Ghement/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Robert Ghement/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

"We are aware that it has a feeling of a final, we want to win this match and write history, this is obvious," Alaba said.

"It won't be easy but we can see that we have great team spirit. There are so many players who play at such a top level and have already gained experience."

"We know how strong Ukraine are, but we also know their weaknesses and we want to benefit from this."

09:16 AM

More talented, less reliant on superstars and a secret weapon up front – how Wales can surpass class of 2016

If their Euros end next weekend, many will consider that disappointing – underlining the progress Wales have made in recent years, says our Chief Sports Reporter Jeremy Wilson.

When Wales were touring around France in 2016 to the relentless sound of Don’t Take Me Home echoing in their ears, it felt like they were on a once in a lifetime journey.

The Welsh had only previously qualified for the knockout phase of a major international tournament in 1958 and, while any team with a prime Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey certainly ought to have had plenty left, it was still hard to imagine history repeating itself.

Not any more. Not after a second placed finish in Group B which sets up an enticing last-16 tie, most likely against Russia or Finland. And, with Holland and one of the third placed group teams completing their quarter of the draw, an enormous opportunity undoubtedly again looms.

You can read Jeremy's thoughts in full here.

09:04 AM

'You are so good looking': How Scotland tried to keep Jack Grealish quiet

As they prepare for the crucial meeting with Croatia which could see them progress from the Euros group stage for the first time, Scotland have not indulged in gloating about their much-praised performance in Friday’s goalless draw with England at Wembley, reports Roddy Forsyth.

That said, Stephen O’Donnell – declared man of the match by the Scotland manager, Steve Clarke - did reveal that he had tormented Jack Grealish with compliments, on the advice of Grealish’s Aston Villa team mate, John McGinn.

“So, the second he came on I was telling him how good looking he was, that I loved his calves and asking him how he got his hair to look like that,” O’Donnell said. “I was told if you kick him or get him really hard, he gets back up and at you.”

O’Donnell’s team mate, Stuart Armstrong, who replaced Billy Gilmour with 14 minutes remaining, admitted he had not been on the pitch long enough to hear the banter but said that the Scots had largely ignored forecasts of an English win, of which Rio Ferdinand’s assertion that ‘I’ve never been this confident about a game in a major championship’ has been repeated endlessly on social media by the Tartan Army.

“Obviously, there was a lot of expectation from them that they should win the game. We didn’t listen to that,” Armstrong said. “We knew our own qualities and how we wanted to play and, of course, how we wanted to improve or own performance from the first game.”

“I think we did that. The boys defended superbly for the whole game. We stifled England, frustrated them and we came out with a very well-deserved point.”

The Scots have yet to score in these finals and must do so against Croatia to progress.

“It would be a problem if we weren’t creating any chances,” Armstrong said. “We have had quite a few chances, so it’s just those fine margins that will take us to the next level and will get us a goal, which we do need on Tuesday.”

“We have to win and a draw is no good. It's pretty straightforward.”

08:51 AM

England players to copy Phil Foden's haircut if they win the Euro's

Reuters

England's Phil Foden said his team mates have agreed to copy his dyed blonde hairstyle if they win the European Championship.

Foden caused a stir on social media before the tournament when he shared a picture of him dyeing his short black hair, just as former England great Paul Gascoigne did for Euro '96.

The 21-year-old said he had persuaded his team mates to copy the hairstyle if they capture their first major trophy in 55 years.

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Catherine Ivill /Getty Images Europe 
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Catherine Ivill /Getty Images Europe

"If we win it, I told the team they had to get the same haircut as me!" Foden told TalkSport.

"They all agreed so hopefully, if we win it, you will see everyone with the same haircut. I think Romania did it where they all had the same haircut so if we win it, I would make everyone get the same haircut."

England face Czech Republic in Tuesday's final Group D match at Wembley. A draw would be enough to send them through to the knockout stages.

08:32 AM

'How Uefa ruined the Euros with inflated tournament that lacks jeopardy'

The enlarged Euros has created a lack of drama and allowed conservatism to reign, says Luke Edwards.

As we meander into the final round of the group stage, it is difficult not to argue that Euro 2020 is a tournament stuck on cruise control.

We must always be on guard against the romanticism of nostalgia, but Uefa’s decision to expand their international showpiece event has watered down its quality – like replacing the whisky you drank last night with apple juice.

If they were hoping we would not notice the difference, too drunk on the novelty of tournament football to realise, they were mistaken. We saw it five years ago in France and we are getting the same again.

The Euros have, to this point, lacked drama, tension and intrigue. The big nations may not all have played well, but they have not really needed to. All look likely to reach the knockout rounds, either as one of the top two teams or as one of the four best third-placed teams.

You can read Luke's thoughts in full here.

08:18 AM

Bumper day of matches ahead

It's a busy day of football across Europe today, as both Groups B and C will wrap up their campaigns.

Group C will start the afternoon off, with Ukraine facing Austria in Bucharest, while North Macedonia travel to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands. Both games will kick off at 5pm. The Dutch have already qualified, and need a point to go through as group winners.

Ukraine and Austria are level on points and goal difference, knowing a win would guarantee them second place, while a draw would likely see both sides through.

Group D then wraps up the evening, with Russia travelling to Copenhagen to play Denmark and Belgium and Finland meeting up in St. Petersburg. Both matches kick off at 8pm. As with the Dutch, Belgium are already through and know a point will confirm them as group winners.

The Danes need a big win over Russia to get their first points of the tournament and hope that goal difference will sneak them in as a best third-placed team. For both Russia and Finland, they know a point will likely take them into the last 16.

08:06 AM

'Euros on TV: the stand-out performances so far from ITV and the BBC'

From the excellence of Emma Hayes to the steep learning curve facing Sam Matterface - Alan Tyers assess how the tournament has played out on the box so far.

All 24 teams at the European Championship have been on TV at least twice now, and the tournament has established itself as part of our daily life. It is a fitting time therefore to deliver our half-term report card, ask what has gone well and not so well for the BBC and ITV, who have been the star pupils, and who must do better.

Starting at the top, Emma Hayes has been the best analyst on display, assessing the games with an all-seeing eye and conveying her tactical thoughts clearly and entertainingly. One notes that even the most wretched dinosaurs online are making fewer remarks about female pundits: maybe the day when people in football broadcasting are judged solely on their work, regardless of their gender, is coming.

Another person having a good tournament is Alex Scott, whose reaction to Christian Erkisen’s sickening collapse — “I just called my my mum to tell her I love her” — was both pure and apposite, part of an excellent job by Gary Lineker and his BBC on-screen people in reacting to an impossible situation. It was universally agreed that the host broadcaster should have cut away from the pictures sooner but this was well handled by the BBC.

You can read Alan's full report card here.

07:51 AM

Roberto Mancini produces a moment to savour

In case you missed it, Italy manager Roberto Mancini pulled off one of the moments of the tournament so far, with a delightful touch to pull the ball out of the sky during the match against Wales yesterday.

His majestic, pseudo-scorpion kick has the internet purring. Take a look below...

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07:38 AM

Wales qualify in pictures

euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage 
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Jonathan Moscrop /Sportimage
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Bradley Collyer /PA
euro 2020 live updates england team latest news - Bradley Collyer /PA

07:25 AM

Gareth Southgate backs misfiring Harry Kane saying he will start vs Czech Republic

Gareth Southgate has broken from his normal protocol by giving Harry Kane a huge vote of confidence and confirming England’s captain will start against Czech Republic 48 hours before the final group game at Wembley, reports Matt Law.

England manager Southgate usually likes to keep his team selections, even involving his senior players, close to his chest and has only occasionally confirmed one of his picks on the night before a game.

But Southgate has taken the unprecedented step of telling Kane he will play on Tuesday night and publicly confirming it on Sunday, 48 hours before the Czech Republic game, after the 27-year-old failed to score in either of England’s opening two games.

Asked by ITV if Kane will start against Czech Republic, Southgate said: “You can assume that yeah, absolutely, I don't mind giving you that one. He is our most important player, there is no doubt about that, you only have to look at his goalscoring record with us to see his importance to the team.

“He is fundamental not only for the goals he scores, but the build-up play and everything else he brings. I know there will be a lot of questions being asked about him at the moment, but he has been through that 100 times before.

“I have answered that in this role several times in the past and he has come up with the goals that have won us the next games, and I expect that to be the same moving forward.”

Kane was substituted against Croatia and Scotland, and has now only scored two goals in his last 11 England appearances, but Southgate insists the striker retains his full confidence.

“In one of the games, we were already ahead and we needed energy, we needed to press and keep the lead and didn't need additional goals,” said Southgate. “During the World Cup, we ended up with Harry playing a lot of football and we felt we needed to manage the load a bit this time and we have got good options on the bench to bring people into the game.”

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