Liverpool pair aim to star in biggest British international game in 3 years

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We’ve had a full week of Euro 2020 action now and has contained everything football fans might have wanted – and some we didn’t. Friday brings the biggest international for the home nations since England’s World Cup semi-final three years ago.

Another Dutch game, another impressive Gini Wijnaldum showing, hey?

The former No5 is in Liverpool’s past, but today is very much about the present, as two legit stars of Jurgen Klopp‘s team could well go head-to-head.

That’s for tonight – there’s a whole lot of action to get through before England vs Scotland is on the agenda.

 

Day seven talking points

  • Kevin de Bruyne returned from injury for the first time since the Champions League final and took 45 minutes to remind everyone why he’s among the very best in the world
  • Belgium broke Denmark hearts a little with a comeback 2-1 win, De Bruyne assisting and scoring, while Netherlands qualified along with the Red Devils by beating Austria 2-0
  • Group B could see three teams end on three points, if Denmark can beat Russia next time out
  • Ukraine and Austria effectively have a play-off in their final group game to see who takes second and who has to rely on being a best third-place finisher

 

Today’s fixtures

  • Sweden vs Slovakia, Group E, 2pm on BBC One
  • Croatia vs Czech Republic, Group D, 5pm on BBC One
  • England vs Scotland, Group D, 8pm on ITV
  • Chile vs Bolivia, Copa America, 10pm on BBC iPlayer

 

Expectations on…

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Harry Kane of England looks on during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Croatia at Wembley Stadium on June 13, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Harry Kane. He was utterly anonymous in England’s opener, a passenger for the team who was eventually subbed off late on.

Far more is expected from him after the season he has had and this is England’s biggest match in three years, so he has to step up.

Reports suggest Gareth Southgate is possibly considering changes at left-back and in midfield; another showing like last week’s and centre-forward might be added to the list of swaps, too.

 

Key battle to watch

Scotland’s left versus England’s right. It might well be where the visitors from the north have their best chance of success: Kieran Tierney is back, Andy Robertson was fantastic in the first game and Che Adams usually roams that side in the attack…if he starts.

Against that, Kyle Walker’s pace seems likely to see him retain his place, Phil Foden or any of the other right-sided attacking options the Wembley hosts have are all fantastic.

Could be a brilliant game, if they don’t all cower in fear at the prospect of an entire country deriding them on social media if they lose.

 

Reds in action

Jordan Henderson take a knee, England

Andy Robbo for Scotland could go almost directly up against his club captain Jordan Henderson.

That’s if Hendo is passed fit enough to feature and is given the nod, having not played the opener for England.

 

Fans are talking about…

Gennaro Gattuso, randomly. He was appointed Fiorentina manager just over three weeks ago, then stepped down and was quickly linked with the Spurs job.

Within a few hours, #notoGattuso was trending on Twitter as Tottenham fans and plenty more from around the Premier League voiced their opposition to a coach who has a history of making disparaging comments about same-sex marriage and has been accused of racist turns of phrase more than once.

By early Friday morning, it appeared the message had gone through and he’s out of the running for the job.





 

Predictions

Another Sweden draw, Croatia to pick up a victory…and England to qualify and leave Scotland on the brink with their second win.

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