International Soccer

England predicted lineup vs Netherlands

Semi-finals at major tournaments are merely another occasion for Gareth Southgate’s England.

They’ve huffed and puffed at Euro 2024, rarely appearing like potential winners, but an assured performance from 12 yards against Switzerland means they’re one of the last four in Germany.

The Three Lions had progressed into three semi-finals ever before Southgate arrived at the helm, a tally now matched by the latest generation. Wednesday’s clash with the Netherlands in Dortmund will be their third semi-final outing at a major tournament since the 2018 World Cup.

The manager changed tack against the Swiss and deployed a back three and his side could be buoyed by a first start of the tournament for one of the country’s Euro 2020 stars on Wednesday.

Here’s how England could line up for their semi-final clash at Euro 2024.

Bukayo Saka

Saka was the star of England’s quarter-final win / Clive Mason/GettyImages

GK: Jordan Pickford – England’s number one can always be relied upon to save one in a penalty shootout. Pickford continues to deliver for his country as his save from Manuel Akanji set the tone against the Swiss.

CB: Kyle Walker – Walker has been bad during the knockout stages and should really be dropped given Southgate has the personnel available to deploy a back three in his absence. However, the manager will likely stay faithful to his trusted lieutenant at the back.

CB: John Stones – Stones hasn’t been at Walker’s low level at Euro 2024 but England supporters are yet to see the very best version of the Manchester City defender in Germany. Stones’ underwhelming 2023/24 campaign has seeped into the summer.

CB: Marc Guehi – It’s harsh on Ezri Konsa, who was excellent against Switzerland and excelled when man-marking Breel Embolo, but Guehi is going to come back into the side at his expense. The Crystal Palace defender was suspended for Saturday’s quarter-final.

RM: Bukayo Saka – Saka was projected to start off the left in the quarter-final but Southgate stuck with Kieran Trippier on his weaker flank to ensure the Arsenal winger remained down the right. Saka then produced a standout performance and his strike from distance saved the Three Lions from elimination.

CM: Kobbie Mainoo – England are certainly more porous with Mainoo in midfield but the Man Utd youngster is such a natural in possession. He offers routes of progression and plenty of youthful guile. His energy in the middle of the park will be critical to disrupting the Netherlands’ rhythm, too.

CM: Declan Rice – He may not be a ball progression machine, but Rice has done all the dirty work to an incredibly high level this summer. England’s midfield simply doesn’t function without him and he’ll be aiming to shun the likes of Xavi Simons and Memphis Depay in Dortmund.

LM: Luke Shaw – Shaw made his first appearance of Euro 2024 after England fell behind on Saturday and looked fit. Spritely on the overlap, Shaw undoubtedly provides the Three Lions with another dimension. He won’t last the distance but could get an hour under his belt.

AM: Phil Foden – The system switch didn’t exactly bring about a major change in fortunes for Foden, who enjoyed more success in a deeper position instead of operating between the lines. The best of Foden is yet to manifest in Germany, but is now the time?

AM: Jude Bellingham – Bellingham was one of the five masters from the penalty spot in Dusseldorf after starting Saturday’s quarter-final brightly on the half-turn. No matter how well he performs, England will always harbour hope that their 20-year-old talisman can produce the big moment.

ST: Harry Kane – The summer has been a proper slog for Kane, who has looked off the pace so far. That isn’t to say he’s been a hindrance, but there have been calls for Ollie Watkins’ channel-running to get more of a look in order to open up space for the likes of Foden and Bellingham. Kane has scored twice at Euro 2024.

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