Jack Grealish brands decision to isolate Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell 'crazy' and 'baffling'

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·39-min read
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euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Carl Recine/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Carl Recine/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

Jack Grealish has branded Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell being forced to isolate over Covid-19 safety as “crazy” and “baffling”.

The England players missed victory over Czech Republic after interacting with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour at Wembley, who has since tested positive for coronavirus. England’s medical team are now trying to establish whether Mount and Chilwell, who have tested negative, can train within small groups under the same protocols as Project Restart when players worked under restrictions.

“From my point of view, I think it is crazy how we haven’t got one positive case in our team and we’ve got two players isolating and Scotland have got one positive case and have got one person isolating,” Grealish said.

“It is what it is. With what’s going on in the world over the past 18 months, we all have to stick to these rules. When we do everything around the camp in our hotel, we all do stick to the rules. But it is obviously a loss not having Mase and Chilly. I’m sure they will be working hard. I don’t know what they are going to be able to do, if they are going to have a treadmill stuck in their room or something.”

“But I am sure they will be fit for the game we get them back. But it does baffle me a little bit the way we’ve had to have two people isolating.”

03:00 PM

Join my colleagues for coverage of all tonight's matches!

That's all from me this evening, but do join my colleagues for all the build-up and coverage of all the games tonight, starting with the final games from Group E.

Greg Wilcox is here to take you through Spain v Slovakia, with Spain needing a win to guarantee them safe passage to the last 16. The Slovaks know they are through with just a point.

Meanwhile, Will Magee is on hand to take you through Sweden v Poland. The Swedes are already through, but for Poland it's all or nothing. Win and they're through, anything else and they're on the plane home.

It should be a fascinating night of football!

02:41 PM

France v Portugal, a fixture laden with history

Of course, 2016 was not the first time France and Portugal have met in the Euro's. Back in 2000, the French beat Portugal 2-1 in the semi-finals, thanks to a golden goal (remember those?!) from Zinadine Zidane deep in extra time.

The midfield maestro ran the show that night, as they went on to win that tournament, two years after winning the World Cup. Will history repeat itself this year?

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02:22 PM

France v Portugal, the rematch

The big one tonight is in Group F, and it's a rematch of the final of Euro 2016. Portugal beat France in their own back yard on that occasion to claim their first major footballing title.

Eder, who is not in the squad for this tournament, was the hero on that night, scoring from range with just ten minutes remaining in injury time.

To whet your appetite for tonight, take a look at that famous goal here...

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02:04 PM

Germany's health minister angered by UEFA decision on stadium lighting

Reuters.

German health minister Jens Spahn has been angered by what he slammed as a "very irritating" Uefa decision to stop Munich's Allianz Arena being lit in rainbow colours for Germany's Euro 2020 match against Hungary to protest an anti-LGBTQ law.

Munich's mayor Dieter Reiter suggested making the gesture during Wednesday's match to highlight legislation in Hungary banning school materials deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change and restricting the media from showing such content in programmes accessible to minors. But European football's governing body declined the request, offering instead alternative dates.

"This decision angered me," Spahn told Handelsblatt newspaper on Wednesday. "Important sponsors of the Euro and of Uefa are state companies from China, Qatar and Russia. Those are authoritarian states who have severe problems with rights for women, homosexuals or different thinking people."

Spahn, the Christian Democrat party’s most prominent gay politician, said he found it "very irritating " that this was not an issue for Uefa but the colours of the rainbow were.

"Uefa receives money from authoritarian states and so gives them influence," Spahn said. "This in a way is also politics. So how does the allegedly this neutral organisation not clash with its own principles?"

There has been widespread criticism of Uefa's decision in Germany, including politicians, businesses, as well as rights groups.

Several Germany players and coach Joachim Loew have also spoken in favour of such a gesture, with Bavarian premier Markus Soeder also regretting Uefa's decision.

Munich mayor Reiter called the decision "shameful", while several stadiums in Germany will light up on the evening with the rainbow colours.

01:48 PM

Italy vs Austria, Euro 2020 last-16: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Telegraph Sport have all the information you need heading in to the knockout rounds of Euro 2020, starting with Italy v Austria which will be held at Wembley.

The Italians impressed during the group stages, winning all three of their matches with plenty of goals scored. Roberto Mancini's side are arguably the form side in the entire competition.

Austria reached the knockout stages of the Euros for the very first time after defeating Ukraine in a crunch match that either could have qualified from.

You can read our full guide to the match here.

01:33 PM

England's solid defensive foundations

Despite all the build-up to Euro 2020 being focussed on England's litany of attacking stars, it has been their oft-maligned defensive side that has brought them results so far in 2021.

A stat from OptaJoe tells us that England have conceded just once in their last nine matches, a Jakub Moder strike for Poland back in a World Cup qualifier in March. That is the fewest they've conceded across a span of nine games since also conceding just once between March and November 1989.

Gareth's brave boys have also won four matches 1-0 in 2021, all coming in June, the most 1-0 wins by England in a calendar year since 1991. According to OptaJoe, the Three Lions have only won 1-0 more often in one previous year (five in 1990).

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01:15 PM

'Despite Gareth Southgate's backing, Harry Kane looks like a man whose head is scrambled'

The Tottenham striker, goalless again versus Czech Republic, is carrying himself with a curiously subdued air - Southgate's belief in him is on shaky ground, says our Chief Sports Writer Oliver Brown.

Harry Kane’s love of American football is so fervent that he has, by his own admission, “one eye on” swapping studs for cleats for the final chapter of his sporting life. It would help England’s cause, though, if he did not indulge his desire to play the quarterback just yet. There were times against the Czech Republic when he was dropping not just deeper than Declan Rice, but deeper than Dan Marino.

In one sense, you could interpret this as a noble case of Kane sacrificing himself for the greater cause, seeking to show his leadership through his selflessness, acting as the pivot in England’s attacks rather than taking pot-shots for personal reward. That theory was undermined, though, by what he did in the 26th minute, with a golden chance to double the lead.

It looked, for all the world, as if his moment had arrived courtesy of Harry Maguire. The centre-back, who produced a brilliant display, found a ball that carved open the Czech defence as cleanly as shucking an oyster. Kane, surging forward, dropped the shoulder to buy some time, only to curl his strike straight into the outstretched arm of Tomas Vaclik. There were suggestions he was too greedy, not least because Sterling, already with a goal to his name, was unmarked to his right.

It is not the first time Kane has been less than generous in his link-ups with Sterling. Infamously, in the World Cup semi-final against Croatia, he had the chance to square the ball to the winger for a simple tap-in and a 2-0 lead. Instead, with the Golden Boot in the balance, he went for glory. Such was the sheer surprise at England reaching the last four, he was spared too many savage post-mortems.

You can read Oliver's thoughts on England's floundering talisman here.

12:57 PM

Bukayo Saka: Doubted at youth level, now his club and country's golden child

A constant theme of Saka’s career has been that he becomes better as he is surrounded by better players, writes Sam Dean.

They would not like to admit it now, but there were more than a few members of Arsenal’s academy staff who did not regard Bukayo Saka as a potential first-team player. In the early teenage years he was big for his age, physically dominant against the other kids, and some observers questioned whether he relied too much on his speed and strength.

The fear was that, when he played against adults and no longer had his physical advantages, Saka might struggle. In hindsight, such concerns can only be described as laughable. Rather than shrinking as he moved up the ranks, and then into the first-team, Saka has adapted and thrived with each leap forward.

A constant theme of Saka’s career has been that he becomes better as he is surrounded by better players. It was only when he started to train with the Arsenal senior squad, for example, that he began to display the technical ability and composure that had sometimes been missing in the youth teams.

You can read a full analysis of Saka's career here.

12:40 PM

Listen in!

Two of our football experts Mike McGrath and Sam Dean are live on Twitter Spaces now.

They’ll be reviewing the performance of the home nations in the group stage and looking ahead to the round of 16.

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12:34 PM

Euro 2020 prize money: How much will the tournament winner get - and what could England earn?

The initial tournament budget of £319m was reduced to £284.55m due to year-long delay and increased costs of hosting matches with reduced crowds, reports our Sports News Correspondent Tom Morgan.

A record potential jackpot of £24million is on offer for the winner of the European Championship despite a small overall reduction in the prize pot due to Covid-19. England, Wales, Scotland and the other 21 qualified nations automatically get a minimum payment of £8m, but would need to win all their group matches to land the maximum amount.

An initial budget for the tournament of £319m was reduced to £284.55m due to the delay in the tournament and the increased costs of hosting matches with reduced crowds.

However, plans for the Football Association to pass on a percentage of those winnings to the players as performance bonuses is complicated by a £175 million taxpayer-backed loan the governing body has taken out.

Whitehall sources have previously told Telegraph Sport the terms of the ultra-low-interest Bank of England loan prohibit the FA rewarding Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad while any of it remains outstanding. Telegraph Sport has been told the FA plans to repay the loan before player bonuses are due.

You can read a full breakdown of all the available financial rewards here.

12:13 PM

Belgium slam UEFA on rainbow colours and plan own display

Reuters.

Belgium’s captain will wear rainbow colours on his armband at the European Championship on Sunday and the country’s football association (KBVB) are considering further ways to show solidarity with the LGBTQ movement.

The KBVB criticised Uefa’s refusal for the Munich stadium to be lit in rainbow colours for Germany's Euro 2020 match against Hungary on Wednesday in protest at an anti-LGBTQ law in Hungary.

"We totally disagree with the UEFA decision and are probably going to play on Sunday with a rainbow band," said spokesman Stefan van Loock on Wednesday. "Uefa should have allowed the rainbow colours to be displayed at the German stadium."

The Allianz Arena is configured to allow the exterior and roofing to be lit up in colours but European football's governing body declined the request, offering instead alternative dates.

"If they say themselves that they are for integration, equality and transparency, then it would have been the appropriate way to display it," added the Belgian media officer. "We are considering how we can all display the rainbow colours in our match on Sunday, but our captain will have it on his armband."

A large banner in rainbow colours, together with the Belgian association’s badge, was prominently flown at the entrance to the team’s training camp in Tubize, some 25km south of Brussels, on Wednesday.

"We won’t unfortunately get to see any stadium in rainbow colours today so a flag at our training complex was the least we could do to symbolically show that we are not in agreement, at all, with what Uefa have decided," said van Loock.

Uefa proposed alternative dates to Munich of June 28 or between July 3-9 around Christopher Street Day events held in memory of an uprising by homosexuals in New York in 1969.

"Uefa, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – Uefa must decline this request," it said.

12:00 PM

Jack Grealish: I can light up the Euros like Gascoigne and Rooney

Jack Grealish says he is ready to emulate Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney on the biggest stage if he is given the chance at the European Championship, reports Mike McGrath.

The Aston Villa midfielder made his first start at the tournament in the 1-0 victory over Czech Republic and wants to use the rest of the competition to showcase his talent, just as Gascoigne did 21 years ago and Rooney 7 years later.

Grealish, 25, was England’s most fouled player at Wembley on Tuesday and set up Raheem Sterling’s winner. But having not had the chance to play in the Champions League yet, Grealish has sights on keeping his place in the England team and giving Gareth Southgate’s team a creative spark to showcase what he can offer in the hope of following down the path of past England greats.

“I’ve spoken about how big these tournaments are in people’s careers,” he said. “You think back and look at Gazza at Italia 90 where he was well-known before but everyone remembers that tournament.”

“You look at Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004 when he set his marker to be one of the best in the world. I’ve got a bit to follow in their footsteps but hopefully I can do that if I get more chances in the tournament.”

“It’s obviously different to what I’ve been used to. I’ve never played in Europe before, I’ve never played in the Europa League or Champions League so it’s obviously different to what I’m used to. But it’s a new challenge, it’s something that I’m really enjoying, I love it. It is a matter of showcasing my talent to the world and it is what I want.”

You can read more of Grealish's thoughts here.

11:43 AM

EU says Uefa has no 'excuse' for blocking rainbow protest

AP.

European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas can't find "any reasonable excuse" for Uefa to reject host city Munich's plans to display rainbow colors during a match between Germany and Hungary at the European Championship, he said Wednesday.

Uefa said it understood the city's intention to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion but stressed that it was "a politically and religiously neutral organization" after it denied the application to have the stadium illuminated in support of LGBT rights.

"Yes, I find it very difficult to understand what Uefa is trying to do by going against this initiative of the Munich city council," Schinas said during a news conference ahead of Wednesday's match. "Frankly, I do not find any reasonable excuse for that."

Schinas said he was even more surprised by the decision since the governing body of European football has previously supported campaigns for inclusion and against racism.

"They supported all the good causes. And all of a sudden, they make an issue out of this," he said.

Uefa, which has the final say as tournament organizer, said it had to decline the request from Munich because of its political context - "a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament."

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter's application to Uefa made clear the city wanted to protest a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers last week that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment. The law was denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups.

In a statement Wednesday, the European Union's chief executive vowed to take any action necessary to thwart the new law, which must be endorsed by the president to enter force.

"This Hungarian bill is a shame," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Uefa said it believes "that discrimination can only be fought in close collaboration with others" and it proposed that Munich illuminates the stadium with the rainbow colors on June 28 for Christopher Street Day or between July 3-9 for the Christopher Street Day week in the city.

Several other stadiums in Germany that are unaffiliated with the Euro 2020 tournament said they would light up their venues in rainbow colors.

11:27 AM

Uefa responds to Allianz Arena controversy

Uefa have issued a statement defending their decision to ban the city of Munich from lighting up the Allianz Arena in the rainbow colours, stating the organisation is "proud to wear the colours of the rainbow".

Europe's football governing body has received vocal criticism after it denied a request from Munich mayor Dieter Reiter to light up the Allianz Arena in the rainbow colours for the match against Hungary. Reiter had planned the move in response to the Hungarian parliament passing legislation that bans gay people from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for under-18s.

euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Andreas Gebert /Pool via REUTERS 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Andreas Gebert /Pool via REUTERS

"Some people have interpreted Uefa's decision to turn down the city of Munich's request to illuminate the Munich stadium in rainbow colours for a Euro 2020 match as 'political'," the statement read.

"On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team's presence in the stadium for this evening's match with Germany."

"For Uefa, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society."

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11:12 AM

Jack Grealish brands decision to isolate Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell 'crazy'

Jack Grealish has branded Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell being forced to isolate over Covid-19 safety as “crazy” and “baffling”.

The England players missed victory over Czech Republic after interacting with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour at Wembley, who has since tested positive for coronavirus.

England’s medical team are now trying to establish whether Mount and Chilwell, who have tested negative, can train within small groups under the same protocols as Project Restart when players worked under restrictions.

“From my point of view, I think it is crazy how we haven’t got one positive case in our team and we’ve got two players isolating and Scotland have got one positive case and have got one person isolating,” Grealish said.

“It is what it is. With what’s going on in the world over the past 18 months, we all have to stick to these rules.”

“When we do everything around the camp in our hotel, we all do stick to the rules. But it is obviously a loss not having Mase and Chilly. I’m sure they will be working hard. I don’t know what they are going to be able to do, if they are going to have a treadmill stuck in their room or something.”

“But I am sure they will be fit for the game we get them back. But it does baffle me a little bit the way we’ve had to have two people isolating.”

The decision for Mount and Chilwell to isolate until June 28 was made after consultation with Public Health England, which only see them return to Gareth Southgate’s squad on the day of their last-16 game at Wembley next Tuesday.

“There has to be a doubt about the two boys. We think the quarantine ends midnight of matchday,” said Southgate. “What we don’t know is how much training they can do and what might be possible.”

“They can obviously train individually. There might be a period - as when the Premier League clubs went back - when they might train in groups distanced. But I’m not sure they can join in with the whole group. The reality is really complicated for them to certainly start in the game next week.”

11:02 AM

'Raheem Sterling has become England's most important player - so why is he being taken for granted?'

The contrasting reaction from fans to substitutions of Jack Grealish and Sterling reflects reluctance to acknowledge how important the latter is, says Jamie Carragher.

“Have I justified my selection?”

That’s the question Raheem Sterling threw back at the interviewer following his winning goal against Croatia after England’s opening game of 2020. I watched that exchange and shared Raheem’s astonishment that anyone would consider it a surprise he was picked. In an England shirt, there is nothing for him to justify.

If he was inclined towards sarcasm, Sterling might have repeated those words after another match-winning goal against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, where despite an excellent personal performance - especially in the first half when he hit the post as well as scoring - most of the praise is being showered on others.

When Sterling was subbed for Marcus Rashford halfway through the second half - a sure sign of the manager keeping him fresh for the last-16 - there was applause from the Wembley crowd.

You can read Jamie's thoughts in full here.

10:48 AM

Wales training in pictures

Wales have been preparing at their camp in Rome for their round-of-16 match against Denmark on Saturday, which will take place in Amsterdam...

euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - David Rawcliffe /Propaganda
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - David Rawcliffe /Propaganda
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Marco Rosi /Getty Images Europe

10:37 AM

Scotland express a similar lament as the Tartan Army trudge back home

Billy Gilmour's influence was badly missed as Steve Clarke's side failed in their bid to advance in a major tournament for an 11th time, writes our Scottish Football Correspondent Roddy Forsyth.

Scotland’s relationship with the later stages of major football tournaments has been typified by melodrama of Neapolitan intensity and these Euros have not disrupted the trend. This is the nation which declined an invitation to the 1950 World Cup finals on the haughty premise that they had finished second to England in the British Championship, which the Scottish Football Association regarded as a superior competition.

Persuaded to suppress their prejudice and submit a team to the 1954 finals, the SFA dispatched a squad of 13 players, although they were permitted 22. They were duly humiliated 7-0 by Uruguay, the Scotland manager having resigned hours before the match.

The 1974 World Cup saw the Scots become the first team ever to be knocked out without losing a game. In 1978 they beat the Netherlands by the Archie Gemmill goal regarded as one of the greatest ever seen in the competition, but were eliminated on goal difference again.

The greatest Scottish managers – Jock Stein and Alex Ferguson – could not reverse the tide of destiny in 1982 and 1986 and further first round exits followed in 1990 and 1998.

The European Championship provided no relief. After five attempts, starting in 1968, Scotland made the finals in 1992 but were knocked out after spending only eight days in Sweden.

You can read more or Roddy's analysis here.

10:22 AM

Austria coach says it 'makes no sense' for Wembley to host clash with Italy

Reuters.

It "makes no sense" for Austria's clash with Italy in the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Saturday to be held in London as neither side's fans can fly there, the Alpine nation's coach said in remarks published on Wednesday, suggesting a change of venue.

The 24-team tournament is being held in various countries across the continent, each with their own coronavirus travel restrictions and social-distancing rules governing how many spectators can attend matches.

"As things stand, there will be almost no Austrian fans in the stadium - or Italian ones, either. It makes no sense to me to play in London," national coach Franco Foda told Austria's Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

While making the knockout stage is normal for a powerhouse like Italy, it is a first for Austria, who had never even won a match in the Euros until this tournament. Missing their side's first appearance in the last 16 is therefore particularly upsetting for Austrian supporters.

"We...strongly advise against travelling to the second-round match against Italy on June 26, 2021 at Wembley!" Austria's Foreign Ministry warned on its website.

Foda urged tournament organisers UEFA to intervene.

"I hope for the fans' sake that a solution can be found. One option would be to change the venue. I hope that as many fans as possible can join. That is my heartfelt desire," he said.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, perhaps less worried about his side getting knocked out on Saturday, has called for the final to be moved from Wembley to Rome because of the accelerating infections. Uefa has said it has no plans to do so.

10:07 AM

England's ponderous play

A fascinating statistic this morning from OptaJoe - England are the slowest team moving the ball forward so far at Euro 2020. They have moved the ball up the pitch 0.98m per second in open play, the lowest of any side.

In last night's match against the Czech Republic, they moved the ball upfield at 0.7m per second, was also a single-match low for any side. This was reflected in the fact that England's final shot of the game came in the 26th minute.

That will certainly cause alarm for England fans, who had hoped that this young side, full of attacking talent, would play with some verve and intensity. So far, pragmatism has been the name of the game for Southgate and his men.

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09:54 AM

England vs Czech Republic player ratings: Bukayo Saka and other Gareth Southgate picks excel

Saka, Harry Maguire and Jack Grealish among those to impress after getting the nod to start at Wembley - do you agree?

Raheem Sterling's early goal sealed victory for England as Gareth Southgate's side secured top spot in Group D with an unbeaten record.

The goals may not have flowed but England once again shut out their opponents at the back as the likes of Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka impressed after getting the nod to start.

Mike McGrath gives his verdict on how both England and Czech Republic players' fared.

09:39 AM

'Sport cannot think it is from another planet – Covid warning signs must be heeded'

Britain's super summer of sport and the return of fans to events like Wimbledon could still be put in jeopardy by coronavirus, says our Chief Sports Reporter Jeremy Wilson.

If there has been one persistent lesson through the Covid-19 pandemic, it is that a head rooted in the sand can simply mean a more severe problem once daylight is faced.

And sport which, after a bumpy start, has been on a generally safe and responsible path to normality has warning signs again flashing in its face.

That one player at Euro 2020 should test positive for Covid-19 is not in itself a surprise and, if the spread can be contained to Billy Gilmour, will actually demonstrate the efficacy of regular PCR tests. Yet what we can question is why Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell would drop their guard and put themselves at an unnecessary risk of being deemed close contacts in a way that would have been unthinkable earlier in the pandemic.

Or, for all the welcome sight of crowds at these European Championships, whether it made much sense for thousands of ticketless fans to party through central London before Friday’s England vs Scotland match. Or, ignoring wider guidelines once inside Wembley Stadium, notably the face-mask requirement, is currently the best way for sport to navigate its delicate reemergence.

You can read Jeremy's thoughts in full here.

09:22 AM

A look ahead to Group F

For England fans, it's all eyes on the 8pm kickoffs as Group F will wrap up. England will face the second placed team from the so-called group of death.

France will face Portugal in Budapest in a mouth-watering repeat of the 2016 Euro's final. The World Champions have already qualified and need a win to make sure they top the group. Portugal need a point to make it through, and a win would allow them to top the group if Germany fail to beat Hungary.

The Germans welcome the Hungarians to Munich, knowing they need a point to make it to the knockout stages. A win would put them atop the group, if France fail to beat Portugal. Like the Poles, the equation for the Hungarians is clear - win and you're through, but drop points and you're a goner.

So what does it all mean for Gareth's brave boys? Well the statisticians will tell you that Germany are the most likely opponents to travel to Wembley next Tuesday, with Opta putting the odds at 42.3 per cent. France are the next most likely opponents 29.3 per cent, while the Hungarians (who, let's face it, everyone on these shores is hoping England face) are rated at just 2.3 per cent to finish second.

My colleague Thom Gibbs has broken down all the odds and potential opponents. You can read his thoughts on who England would most like to face here.

09:05 AM

A look ahead to Group E

It's the final night of the group stage of Euro 2020 (how time flies!) and Group E's final games will kick off at 5pm this evening.

In the scorching heat of Seville, Spain will face Slovakia, with the 2010 World Champions knowing they need a win to guarantee safe passage into the last 16. If they draw, they will scrape through to the knockout round on goal difference, if Poland fail to beat Sweden. Slovakia need just a point to guarantee themselves a spot in the knockout round.

In the even hotter St Petersburg, Sweden will face Poland. The Swedes have already qualified for the last 16 and will win the group if they beat the Poles. A draw will also be enough to top the group if the Spain v Slovakia game ends honours even. For Poland the equation is simple - win and they will reach the knockout round. Fail to do so, and they are out.

08:51 AM

'Uefa wanted Euro 2020 to unite a continent - instead it is highlighting our differences'

Uefa envisaged this a great legacy project - instead, it is being dragged into the political mire, more Disunited Nations than noble unifier, says our Chief Sports Writer Oliver Brown.

Back in the less fraught age of 2014, the concept of Euro 2020, the first truly pan-continental event in major tournament history, was depicted by Uefa as a potent unifying force. The architect of the idea, Michel Platini – remember him? – declared: “Whether it’s in the north, south, east or west, Europe is a big continent with a lot of diversity. It will be great to see how the ‘engine’ of football works.” Seven years on, this abstract puffery has collided headlong with inconvenient reality. For this is a tournament fast becoming less a vehicle for harmony than a recipe for untold strife.

Consider where we are: in Munich tonight, Germany’s match with Hungary will double as a pitched battle over whether the Allianz Arena should be lit up in the colours of the rainbow. Given that the gesture has been suggested as a response to a decision in Budapest to prohibit the sharing of information deemed as promoting homosexuality among under-18s. In the middle stands Uefa, the unpopular go-between, scuppering the Bavarian authorities’ plan on the grounds that it would be a political act, waged in protest against the Hungarian parliament. At the same time, it is happy for Manuel Neuer, the German captain, to continue wearing a rainbow armband.

Confused? Just try disentangling the row over where the Euros’ latter stages should be held. Originally, Platini was perfectly content for London to receive the honour, describing the city as “the capital of European football”. Today, the rules of pandemic diplomacy expose such thinking as naïve. Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, this week made an opportunistic bid to transplant the semi-finals and final from Wembley to Rome, arguing that a surge of the virus’ delta variant made England an unsuitable host. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was more coded in her message, but similarly concerned. “I don’t think it would be good if the stadiums there are full,” she said.

You can read Oliver's thoughts in full here.

08:37 AM

Dutch striker Luuk de Jong out of Euros after training ground injury

Reuters.

Netherlands striker Luuk de Jong will miss the rest of the European Championship after suffering a knee injury in training on Tuesday, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said.

The 30-year-old, who has made two brief substitute appearances at Euro 2020, was injured in a tackle with team mate Cody Gakpo as the Dutch trained the day after beating North Macedonia in their last group game.

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

“The Sevilla striker, with 38 caps, injured the inner ligament of the knee and, as a result, can no longer play in this European Championship,” a KNVB statement said on Wednesday.

Uefa regulations do not allow a replacement at this stage of the tournament, except for injured goalkeepers, leaving the Dutch squad down to 24 as they prepare for their round of 16 game in Budapest on Sunday.

They will meet one of the best third placed finishers, which will be decided on Wednesday.

08:25 AM

After 83 games and counting in a year - is Bruno Fernandes too tired to inspire Portugal at Euro 2020?

No player across Europe’s top five leagues has played more games for club and country since June 2020 than the Manchester United playmaker, reports our Northern Football Correspondent James Ducker.

Bruno Fernandes sent Paul Pogba a message in the wake of his Manchester United team-mate’s man of the match display for France against Germany last week. “Happy for you, but MVP only today,” the Portugal midfielder said in a playful nod to their Group F meeting in Budapest on Wednesday evening.

Portugal’s implosion against Germany on Saturday, when they led courtesy of a stunning counter-attacking goal before slumping to a 4-2 defeat, has dramatically raised the stakes ahead of Wednesday's final group game against France.

Holders Portugal, 3-0 victors over Hungary in their opening match, need a response and the pressure on Fernandes to deliver was only amplified by his anaemic showing against the 2014 world champions.

It was a performance that did little to quieten the critics who claim United’s talisman does not influence big games enough and earned rebukes from Graeme Souness, who decried Fernandes’ perceived petulance, and Lee Dixon, who condemned the Portuguese’s reaction at 3-1 down and accused him of “just strolling on the ball”.

“He had a chance to run into space and commit a few players ahead of him but there was no energy in his run at all,” Dixon lamented.

You can read James' statistical analysis in full here.

08:11 AM

Scotland dumped out of Euro 2020 in pictures

euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - STU FORSTER /AFP
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - STU FORSTER /AFP
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - AFP Contributor#AFP /AFP
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - AFP Contributor#AFP /AFP
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Images Europe 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Images Europe
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Lee Smith /Pool Reuters 
euros 2020 football latest news live updates england team - Lee Smith /Pool Reuters

07:58 AM

Harry Maguire the pass master allows England freedom to roam

The central defender's return to the starting line-up proved to be a shrewd decision by England manager Gareth Southgate, says our Football News Correspondent Matt Law.

It was the sort of pass Harry Kane dreams of. A ball straight down the middle that broke the opposition lines and put him in front of goal.

Kane could not score, but the fact he had been teed up by Harry Maguire illustrated just why England manager Gareth Southgate was prepared to gamble on the central defender’s fitness at the European Championship.

This particular correspondent has been among those to question the wisdom of including players who were not fit to start the tournament, but Maguire, in his first appearance since May 9, gave England a different dimension in their third and final group game.

The fact the 28-year-old distributed the ball so well from the back may well just give him the edge on Tyrone Mings from here on in, however harsh that may be on the Aston Villa man, who replaced John Stones late on against Czech Republic.

“I've been out of action for six-and-a-half weeks now and it's been tough,” said Maguire. “It's been tough to watch, I don't like watching football matches so to be back on the pitch is something I love doing and to be at Wembley in the first time for me playing in a European Championship, it's a good feeling and it's all the hard work that I've put in that I've been able to play 90 minutes."

You can read more of Matt's analysis on England's defensive talisman here.

07:43 AM

Southgate confused by Mount, Chilwell isolation requirement

Reuters.

England manager Gareth Southgate said Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell's absence from Tuesday's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 was "bizarre" after they had to self-isolate as close contacts of Scotland's Billy Gilmour.

England said before Tuesday's match that the entire squad and staff returned negative COVID-19 results but Mount and Chilwell would have to isolate until June 28 after coming into contact with Chelsea team mate Gilmour.

Mount and Chilwell were pictured embracing Gilmour at the end of last weekend's goalless draw. None of the Scotland players had to isolate after Gilmour's positive test on Monday.

"Frankly I don't understand it at all," Southgate told ITV. "There are teams travelling around by plane, coach, bus in enclosed spaces for hours.

"It's hugely disappointing for the players. It's a bizarre situation really. They've spent 120 seconds too long in a fairly open space."

"It's full of contradictions for me but we have to get on with it."

07:31 AM

Raucous scenes as England fans celebrate win against the Czech Republic

07:18 AM

Declan Rice takes no chances with coronavirus protocols

Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal were given face masks on Tuesday night after being spotted laughing and joking together after England’s European Championship win against Czech Republic, writes Ben Rumsby.

The West Ham United team-mates were approached by a member of staff at Wembley as they spoke near the touchline following their respective countries’ final Group D game.

The intervention came hours after Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were forced into coronavirus quarantine for 10 days for spending too long talking to Chelsea colleague Billy Gilmour in the tunnel following England’s goalless draw against Scotland on Friday.

Tuesday night’s incident was shown during ITV’s coverage of the England-Czech Republic game, prompting presenter Mark Pougatch to joke: “Please, you two, keep your distance. And do not talk for more than 15 minutes. They are outside; that is the big difference to what happened with the Chelsea boys the other day. They are outside but nobody wants any more of this.”

Rice had also been seen hugging Coufal shortly after the full-time whistle before the pair joined Soucek in performing the ‘Irons’ sign in tribute to West Ham.

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Speaking before the game, ITV pundit Roy Keane criticised Mount and Chilwell for having spent so much time in the company of Gilmour.

“I think the other thing I’d be critical of is why you'd want to speak to an opposition player – I don’t care if he’s your team-mate or not – for over 20 minutes,” Keane said.

“I very rarely speak to anybody for over five minutes. After a game, where you’ve been to war against somebody, why would you want to chat to them for that long? They could have used a bit more common sense.”

Revealing pre-match he expected to be without both Mount and Chilwell for England’s last-16 tie on Tuesday, manager Gareth Southgate took a swipe at the restrictions that saw the isolation imposed.

“It is a bizarre situation,” he said. “They have spent 120 seconds too long in a fairly open space. It is full of contradictions for me but we will get on with it.

“Frankly, I don’t understand it at all. There are teams travelling around by coach, by plane, in enclosed spaces for hours and our two boys have been pinged for something that’s... yeah, I don’t get it.”

Mount posted on Twitter: “I’m absolutely gutted to have to miss tonight’s game. I’ll be cheering on the boys as usual and ensuring that I’m ready to go again when called upon. Come on @England!”

Chilwell, meanwhile, wrote: “It’s a tough one to take and I’m gutted but I want to wish the boys all the best tonight in the game, I’ll be cheering you all on. I will make sure I am ready for when I can rejoin the squad. Let’s go @England!”

07:05 AM

How Jack Grealish’s guile and Bukayo Saka’s sparkle breathed new life into England

The defensive display also gave reason for encouragement in a largely conservative performance from England, says our Chief Football Writer Sam Wallace.

Jack Grealish, the famously low-socked conjuror plays off the left for Aston Villa which lends itself to his predominantly right-footed game although that was not where Southgate began with him. Instead Grealish lined up as a typical No 10 in a 4-2-3-1 system and then switched positions with Sterling who began the game on the left. More unusual was that Grealish was England’s most advanced player in the first half in terms of average position, as the touch map shows, and there were other changes to his game too.

He pressed ferociously at times, with one hectic pursuit of man and ball in the 26th minute catching the attention of the home crowd at Wembley, who liked what they saw. There were also occasions when Grealish travelled more quickly than usual with the ball, carrying it into the kind of areas where to challenge him would most likely be to foul him and present England with a dangerous dead-ball situation. His trademark short-stride running had the Czechs backing off.

His best moment in the game was his assist for Sterling’s goal. That was unusual because it saw him get to the byline on the left side where there was no choice but to use his weaker foot. He did so beautifully, chipping the ball over the main group of defenders to pick out Sterling at the back post for the header.

Southgate called it right when it came to taking Grealish out the game. He was replaced by Bellingham with 23 minutes of regulation time left and the teenager gave the extra energy to disrupt the Czechs when they were on the ball. By then England had good strength in their shape and they just needed to push back in higher positions. Southgate clearly still nurtures doubts over Grealish - how long he lingers in possession and how useful he is winning it back when the team loses it. Judging by his performance, Grealish seems to know that better than anyone.

You can read more of Sam's analysis from last night's victory here.

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