England v Slovenia LIVE: Line-ups, team news and build up as Conor Gallagher set to start Euro 2024 clash

England v Slovenia LIVE: Line-ups, team news and build up as Conor Gallagher set to start Euro 2024 clash

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer respond to Harry Kane’s ‘not won anything’ jibe after criticism

England look to immediately bounce back from a disappointing 1-1 draw with Denmark last week as they face Slovenia in their final group game at Euro 2024 tonight.

Gareth Southgate’s side sit top of the group on four points, knowing that a win will take them through in first place and straight to a last-16 tie in Gelsenkirchen on 30 June. But before them stands a plucky Slovenia side who were unlucky not to beat Serbia in their most recent group game. Having drawn their first game to Denmark, they sit on two points and know that a win (and perhaps even a draw) will see them into the round of 16.

The Three Lions have put themselves in a decent position in the group, but the pressure is on as nothing other than a win – and perhaps one that reminds us of their previous billing among the tournament favourites – will be enough for many back at home.

Follow all the latest updates from England’s final group game below.

Conor Gallagher is set to start for England against Slovenia
Conor Gallagher is set to start for England against Slovenia (The FA via Getty Images)

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England desperately search for reset button in match that will define their tournament

With the way some of England’s squad are training, it doesn’t feel like the team are facing their most pressurised tournament since Euro 2016. Declan Rice says the team’s match-winners “look frightening, they look on it”.

The midfielder insists the camp is like “a bunch of kids at nursery”, such is the sense of “fun”. “We’re all playing different games – Uno, basketball, padel. We are having a lot of fun off the pitch.”

That might just be Rice and his strikingly persistent enthusiasm, of course. He can never be accused of not putting on a brave face or failing to front up. Rice also completely dismissed the idea that the squad are too fatigued to press in the way required, referring to criticism as “ridiculous” and adding: “Let them keep questioning it.”

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 14:01

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Talking points as England face Slovenia in final Euro 2024 group game

England travel to Cologne to take on Slovenia on Tuesday night in their final Euro 2024 group game.

Gareth Southgate’s side have taken four points from their opening two fixtures and only a minor miracle would see them fail to qualify out of Group C.

Despite that, the performances in both games have been heavily criticised and, ahead of the match at the RheinEnergieStadion, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key talking points.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 13:57

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BBC pundits pick their teams

Jermaine Jenas: Chooses Gomez at left back, and would select Mainoo alongside Rice. Drops Foden for Gordon.

Phil McNulty: Only the one change from the BBC Sport’s chief football writer, with Bellingham playing alongside Rice, Foden in the centre and Gordon on the wing.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 13:38

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BBC pundits pick their teams

Wayne Rooney: Bellingham in the midfield alongside Rice, with Foden in the centre and Gordon on the left.

Danny Murphy: Change of formation, 4-3-3. Shaw in for Trippier, and Wharton, Gallagher and Rice in the midfield, with Palmer Watkins and Eze making up the front three.

Micah Richards: Same as Rooney, Bellingham pushed back to play alongside Rice, and Gordon on the left.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 13:24

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England fans gather in Cologne instead of Slovenia clash

Here are some photos from around the city:

(The FA via Getty Images)
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 13:03

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England fans praised for behaviour after no incidents reported in Cologne

England fans were again praised for their behaviour after no incidents of disorder were reported in the build-up to Tuesday’s final Euro 2024 group match against Slovenia in Cologne.

Police in Gelsenkirchen and Frankfurt were impressed by the conduct of the vast majority of English fans who visited those cities for the earlier games against Serbia and Denmark.

An update from the UK Football Policing Unit on Tuesday morning provided further positive news.

“Around 10,000 England fans gathered in Cologne last night, Monday June 24,” it read.

“There were no reports of disorder and no arrests of any England fans were made. This is indicative of what we have seen across Germany so far, with the vast majority of England fans behaving extremely well.”

England are guaranteed a place in the last 16 after Monday night’s results in Group B, but can still finish top, second or third in their group.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 12:18

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer double down after Harry Kane’s response to England criticism

Shearer later added, “What are we meant to say?”, to which Lineker sarcastically replied, “That they were really good, Alan. They were really good, actually”.

Shearer also admitted: “It might have been that word ’s***’. The simple and easiest thing is, have England played well, or did they play well, in that game against Denmark? No, we were terrible. So, we have to say that. If England are brilliant, we’ll say they’re brilliant. That’s just the way it is.”

Lineker added: “Yes, we were critical and no one’s above criticism, and Harry will know as well,” before stressing: “It’s never personal. We’ve actually said we think, really, it’s come from the top, not the players, because they look a little bit lost on the pitch, tactically. Harry said it himself, cryptically sort of, didn’t he? ‘We don’t really know how we’re pressing as a team’.”

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 11:56

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer double down after Harry Kane’s response to England criticism

Lineker said: “Could you imagine if we went on and said, ‘Well, actually, I thought they played really well’? We’d be lying, for a start, because they didn’t play well. And Harry knows they didn’t play well.

“I understand where he says, ‘But they have responsibilities being ex-England players and they should know, they know what it’s like, it’s not like they’ve ever won anything’, or words to that effect.

“Fine. And he’s absolutely right. But I will say one thing, the last thing in the world we want to be is downbeat and critical. We want the England team to perform well on the pitch. The best punditry of all is when England play well and we’re excited and we’re enthusiastic about them. We don’t want to be critical but we have to be sometimes. We have to say it.”

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 11:39

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer double down after Harry Kane’s response to England criticism

“I’m not telling people not to do their job, it’s their job to analyse games and players. There will be games where I get stick or other players will get stick. Maybe when I’m 40 or 50, I’ll be on one of those shows trying to dig players out – I hope I’m not.”

He did suspect an ulterior motive, given Lineker’s most abrasive comments came on the podcast he hosts, run by his production company Goalhanger Podcasts. “People will do things for their own gain, that’s just life,” added Kane. “With podcasts and things like that, people are trying to promote their own channels.”

Lineker and Rest Is Football co-host Shearer then responded to Kane’s criticism on Monday’s edition of the podcast and refused to back down from their initial comments, although acknowledged that they understood the England skipper’s complaints.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 11:22

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer double down after Harry Kane’s response to England criticism

“The bottom line is we haven’t won anything as a nation for a long, long time and a lot of these players were part of that and they know how tough it is,” countered Kane. “All I would say is remember what it is like to wear the shirt and that their words are listened to. I am sure they want us to win a major tournament and being as helpful as they can and building the lads up with confidence would be a much better way of going about it.

Sonia Twigg25 June 2024 10:57

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