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England have five positives and two negatives after Czech Republic Euro 2020 win

England ensured they top their Euro 2020 group with a narrow victory over Czech Republic on Tuesday evening. Raheem Sterling was the matchwinner, notching in the first half after some good work from Jack Grealish. Express Sport will now take a look at five positives and two negatives from the showdown at Wembley.

Positive: Jack Grealish turns up

Before England’s match, many had been clamouring to see Grealish unleashed from the start.

And Southgate gave supporters their wish, with the Aston Villa star sparkling on the night and providing the assist for Sterling’s winner.

It was a good performance from the 25-year-old, who had previously managed six goals and 10 assists for Aston Villa in the Premier League last term.

He was taken off in the closing stages of the match, likely to ensure he’s fully fit and firing for the next round of the competition.

And he’d have certainly given Southgate much to ponder, especially after previously being benched for matches against Croatia and Scotland.

Positive: Harry Kane looked sharp

Harry Kane went into the match against Czech Republic with a point to prove.

After drab showings against Croatia and Scotland, many wanted to see the Tottenham star take the match by the scruff of the neck.

But while Kane didn’t find the net, the Tottenham star looked a potent threat throughout.

This was his most menacing display of the tournament so far and, with the knockout stages nearly upon us, that bodes well.

Kane had done pretty much all his business at this stage of the World Cup three years ago and, this time, things could be the other way round.

Negative: Still no goal though…

The one negative when it comes to Kane, however, was that he failed to score.

While that’s not necessarily a big deal, it is worth noting that many of the tournament’s best players have already announced themselves.

Cristiano Ronaldo has three goals for Portugal, Antoine Griezmann was on target for France against Hungary, Memphis Depay is looking a threat with the Netherlands while Germany recently saw Kai Havertz notch a brace.

Then there’s Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile, who are sparkling for Belgium and Italy.

Kane needs to join that crowd if England are to go all the way this summer.

Positive: Another clean sheet

England haven’t always been defensively sound, despite the many quality players they’ve had at their disposal over the years.

But that looks set to be the foundations for Southgate’s side to build his empire.

England are yet to concede a goal at Euro 2020 so far, keeping a clean sheet in all three of their matches.

While their attack does need some improvement, it’s promising that Southgate’s team have been looking solid.

That makes them hard to beat and boosts their chances of claiming the prize, especially given how well a defensive style worked for Portugal at Euro 2016 five years ago.

Positive: Bukayo Saka looks electric

Jadon Sancho must have thought he was in with a chance of starting against Czech Republic, especially after Southgate confirmed he was ‘in the mix’ to feature.

But the Three Lions decided to take a risk by unleashing Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka from the very start.

It was a decision that was vindicated, too, with Saka looking devastating as he regularly used his pace to surge forward.

Given how Phil Foden has struggled to make an impact in his two matches so far, the Arsenal star looks ready to step up as an alternative.

And whether Southgate sticks, rather than twists, for the next match remains to be seen.

Negative: Gareth Southgate has Jadon Sancho doubts

While it was certainly a positive night for England, the same can’t be said for Jadon Sancho.

Closing in on a move to Manchester United, the Borussia Dortmund star was again benched from the off against their opponents.

And it wasn’t until less than 10 minutes left on the clock that Southgate finally deemed Sancho ready to be deployed, giving the 21-year-old his first taste of the tournament so far.

This doesn’t appear to be his stage given Southgate’s reluctance to start him.

And Sancho can be forgiven for already looking ahead to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar given how far down his manager’s pecking order he is at present. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England 1-0 Czech Republic LIVE: Live updates

Euro 2020: England and Scotland set for final group games

England 1-0 Czech Republic LIVE

  • England put into last 16 of Euro 2020 on Monday night after Denmark win
  • Three Lions go through as Group D winners thanks to Raheem Sterling‘s 12th-minute goal vs Czechs
  • Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish star after coming into Gareth Southgate‘s starting eleven
  • Jordan Henderson has late goal disallowed for offside
  • England XI: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones (Mings), Shaw; Phillips, Rice (Henderson), Grealish (Bellingham); Saka (Sancho), Kane, Sterling (Rashford)
  • Czech Republic XI: Vaclik, Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril, Holes (Vydra), Soucek, Masopust (Hlozek), Darida (Kral), Jankto (Sevcik), Schick (Pekhart)

9.50pm: There we have it then, England top their group and will face one of France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary at Wembley next Tuesday night.

The Three Lions are unbeaten and have yet to concede a single goal, although Sterling – with two – is their only scorer thus far.

Elsewhere in Group D, Scotland lose 3-1 to Croatia in Glasgow and they finish bottom with a single point.

Croatia go through second thanks to their victory while Czech Republic are third but make the next round after picking up four points from their three matches.

FT: ENGLAND 1-0 CZECH REPUBLIC (STERLING 12′) – England WIN Group D

90+1 mins: Kral fires a shot into the atmosphere from distance. Czech Republic will be disappointed they’ve not posed more problems in this second half.

86 mins: DISALLOWED GOAL! Gutting for Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool skipper fires in from close-range after Bellingham’s touch finds him a few yards from goal.

There’s brief celebrations as Henderson thinks he’s got his first ever England goal to make it 2-0… but he’s miles offside, as VAR rightly confirms.

83 mins: Sancho is on! This is not a drill! The Dortmund winger will get a few minutes to impress as he takes the place of Saka to huge cheers.

Matej Vydra, the Burnley striker, is on for the Czechs. That’s all five subs made by both nations.

82 mins: Pekhart turns and fires wide after being found by Soucek.

England 1-0 Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

81 mins: The cameras show Sancho warming up on the touchline. Surely he’s going to get a few minutes here… right?!

England fans are taking the chance to mock Scotland’s imminent Euro 2020 exit. “Cheer up Steve Clarke, oh what can it be…” You probably know the rest.

79 mins: Here comes a fourth England change – but it’s Mings coming on rather than an attacker and he replaces Stones.

More bad news for Scotland at Hampden Park meanwhile as Ivan Perisic heads in from a Modric corner. Croatia will go through as the second-placed team as it stands, because their goal difference is better than Czech Republic’s.

76 mins: Czech Republic top scorer Schick is off for Tomas Pekhart. England boss Southgate can still make another two subs, with Sancho and Calvert-Lewin among those still hoping to get on.

74 mins: Maguire drives forward and prods it to Bellingham in the box but Holes gets across to force a corner. Shaw fails to beat the first man with the set-piece.

73 mins: Not as quick a tempo now as there was in the first half and at the start of this second period but that probably suits England.

Phillips searches for Saka with a long ball but Vaclik can gather. If it stays like this, England will play their last 16 match at Wembley next Tuesday.

If they draw, they’ll be in action on Monday in Copenhagen instead against the runner-up of Group E, which currently would be Slovakia, who play Spain in their final match tomorrow.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

69 mins: Maguire wants a penalty after going down inside the box at a free-kick but the referee waves it away. Replays show there was a hand in the back from Boril but it’s probably not enough for a spot-kick.

66 mins: A double substitution for England – but still no Sancho. Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham enter the fray in place of Sterling and Grealish.

64 mins: Another pair of Czech Republic changes, as Alex Kral and Adam Hlozek – linked to Liverpool – come on.

There’s then huge cheers in Wembley. Why? Because it’s Scotland 1-2 Croatia, with Luka Modric scoring a brilliant goal. The Scots need two goals now.

61 mins: Boril picks up a yellow card for bringing down Saka from behind. He’ll miss the Czechs’ last 16 match as a result.

Stones meets Saka’s delivery from the following free-kick but there’s an offside flag raised so England won’t get their corner.

59 mins: Pickford is on alert to punch clear a threatening Coufal cross, and Henderson clears from the edge of the England box.

55 mins: Boril does well to get to Kane’s headed flick-on first before Sterling. England were almost in there and again it all came from a Pickford long ball.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

53 mins: Good defensive positioning by Saka to cut out a Shick cross into the back post with Jan Boril threatening to run on to it. Impressing all over the pitch.

50 mins: Kane, with space between the two centre-halves as he breaks into the box, stretches to lift a lofted Henderson ball but it just evades him and the Czechs are able to clear through Coufal.

46 mins: Jordan Henderson comes on for England. The Liverpool captain replaces West Ham’s Rice in central midfield.

The Czechs also make a half-time change as midfielder Petr Sevcik comes on in place of Jankto.

SECOND-HALF – we’re back in action at Wembley!

HT: The ITV half-time analysis…

Ian Wright: “Saka my guy! This is what he’s been doing at Arsenal all season, getting us out of holes by being positive and going forward. It’s fantastic, I’m delighted for him.

“Between Saka, Grealish and Sterling, they’ve been magnificent and ran them ragged.”

Gary Neville: “They’ve been a breath of fresh air. They look like they’ve enjoyed themselves. They’re fearless. It’s what England fans want to see, taking the ball, running with it, committing defenders, winning free-kicks.”

Roy Keane: “What they’ve brought is plenty of energy and they’ve obviously got that quality as well. They do this every week. Excellent.”

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

HT: A solid first 45 minutes for England, there. Much, much better than served up against Scotland, with the ingenuity and dynamism of Saka and Grealish bringing plenty to the side.

Czech Republic have showcased their threat too to be fair, and cannot be counted out. England might need another goal to be sure of the three points.

HT: ENGLAND 1-0 CZECH REPUBLIC (STERLING 12′) – So far, so good for the Three Lions

44 mins: Jubilant scenes north of the border as Callum McGregor pulls Scotland level with a fine strike. If they can get another, they’ll be in the next round.

As it stands, both Croatia and Scotland are headed out of the Euros.

40 mins: A dangerous Saka cross is hoofed out of the box by Ondrej Celustka. England are looking so much more vibrant and fluid in attack tonight.

38 mins: Pickford finds Grealish in space with a lovely chipped ball forward. The playmaker plays it to Kane, who looks to pick out Sterling with a cross which is well intercepted.

37 mins: England respond with pressure of their own and they put together a well-knit move that sees Vaclik have to push Shaw’s deflected cross wide.

Yet again that came from a Saka run down the right. The Arsenal man the clear stand-out performer thus far.

35 mins: SO CLOSE! Czech Republic almost make it 1-1 as Soucek curls a shot just wide of Pickford’s goal from the edge of the area.

That chance came after Shaw excellently blocked Jakub Jankto’s volleyed effort with a stooping header.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

33 mins: Saka really leading the way for England as he bursts down the right after linking up with Kane and his attempted cross for Sterling wins a corner.

This time Phillips takes it but Coufal heads clear and the ball is forced back to Pickford.

29 mins: Soucek sees a shot blocked after a Czech Republic corner drops invitingly for him. A nervy moment for Southgate’s back-line but they got the bodies around the ball to thwart the danger and Maguire eventually hooks clear.

27 mins: A great diving save from Pickford as he flies across his goal to push Tomas Holes’ shot wide with two hands. That effort was headed in.

25 mins: IT SHOULD BE 2-0! A sublime through ball from Maguire sets Kane through and rather than try it on his left, he checks inside to hit a right-footed shot but Vaclik gets a big left hand to it to deny him.

Had he not been chasing a first goal he might’ve squared to Sterling. Still, first shot on target of the tournament and all that for the Tottenham frontman. Progress.

23 mins: On the pitch, a tasty Czech cross is teased into the England box but good positioning from Kyle Walker to chest it down to Jordan Pickford.

Going forward, Saka’s looking really lively for the home side.

19 mins: Cheers inside Wembley – and that’s because it’s Scotland 0-1 Croatia at Hampden Park thanks to Nikola Vlasic’s goal.

“Scotland’s going home,” chants inside Wembley too. The England fans pretty happy at their neighbours’ plight.

Scotland need to win tonight to make it into the next round. As it stands they’ll prop up Group D with a single point. Czech Republic and Croatia currently sit second and third both on four points.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

15 mins: Superb work from the two new boys Saka and Grealish there. A lovely goal and England are bursting with confidence as Grealish wins a free-kick high up the pitch.

Saka takes it but his delivery fails to beat the first man, Coufal. It deflects for a corner but Shaw’s ball in is uninspiring and no team-mate can get on the end of it.

Arsenal’s Saka looks as though he was fouled on the edge of the box as he tried to make something of the corner but the referee isn’t giving it. A strange one.

12 mins: GOAAALLLL!!! ENGLAND LEAD 1-0 – RAHEEM STERLING!

Great work from Saka drives England up the pitch. His cross from the right-hand side is too heavy but Grealish collects it at the back stick and chips it back across the box for Sterling to head in from close range.

That’s his second of the tournament and as it stands, England will win Group D.

10 mins: Stones rises to meet a Shaw free-kick into the box but heads well over the bar.

A minute later, a loose ball drops to Kane but he swipes a shot high into the stands. The England captain is still seeking his first shot on target of the Euros.

8 mins: “It’s coming home!” sing the England fans. The Three Lions were booed off against Scotland last time out – but those inside the national stadium are well behind the team now.

England seeing most of the ball so far but the Czechs look well set up and the hosts will need to play it around quicker to open up the spaces.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

2 mins: OFF THE POST! What a chance for England. Shaw picks out Sterling with a delightful curled pass that sets the Man City winger clear through on goal.

Sterling lifts the ball over Vaclik but his shot comes back off the far post. So close to an early opener.

KICK-OFF – we’re underway at Wembley!

7.58pm: Good noise as the England and Czech Republic players emerge to The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army at Wembley. The fans and players then join in for a loud chorus of God Save The Queen.

England kneel against racial discrimination pre-match but with music playing loudly over the PA system, it’s hard to tell whether there were any boos from the home fans.

A reminder, England need to win if they want to play their last 16 match at Wembley against the runner-up of Germany, France and Portugal’s group.

7.50pm: It’s all about Aston Villa captain Grealish leading up to kick off. Keane says: “He’s got an opportunity. He’s got to take it. He’s got courage, he wants the ball in tight areas.

“Every time I watch Jack, he affects games. There’s not many players like Jack around. They’re the guys that make the difference but he’s got to prove it. He has to take it tonight.”

Neville adds: “He has the country in his hands tonight and I really hope he delivers. He could really bring this tournament alive for England.”

All eyes are on Grealish – he has to deliver if he wants more starts this tournament.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

7.45pm: Some more from Southgate earlier, this time on Harry Maguire, who returns to the team at centre-back tonight.

“I think he has been the outstanding English defender in the league this season,” the England boss said.

“He has been such a bedrock for us. It was a difficult call because Tyrone [Mings] has been a colossus for us but it is a good opportunity for Harry to get 90 minutes.”

That first line a bit harsh on Manchester City’s Stones alongside him, no? It was him over Maguire in the PFA Team of the Year, as voted for by the players, after all.

7.35pm: Those in the comments don’t seem overly confident about tonight’s match against the Group D leaders…

GeoffDavies says: “Got thru by luck because of other teams result. Next stage first out as usual no surprise.”

NeilM1965 writes: “Gareth Southgates naturally defensive – 10-0 formation. Big time Charlie’s in qualifying and always bottlers in tournaments.”

Bigzap posts: “If they play like they did against Scotland, then they have no chance of winning…”

7.30pm: Ian Wright chimes in on the same debate, calling it “baffling” that Scotland have no players isolating given they shared a dressing room with Covid absentee Gilmour.

He says: “To be able to take the hit of Mason Mount and Chilwell to not be able to play for baffling reasons, this squad can take that hit.

“We don’t want to, but we’re going to have to take that hit. Who’s coming in, in this game in particular, I think it’ okay. They’ll cope.

“It is baffling, but it is something that’s happened. I don’t want to wish anything on the Scotland players, don’t get me wrong, but the fact is it is absolutely crazy, I’d love to see the reasoning behind it.”

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: BBC )

7.20pm: Classic hard-nosed Roy Keane on ITV’s coverage, discussing the absences of Mount and Chilwell. While many sympathise with the duo, Keane is very much pointing the finger at the Chelsea pair for chatting with Scotland’s Gilmour.

The Manchester United legend says: “I think the only thing I’d be critical of is why would you want to speak to an opposition player, I don’t care if he’s your team-mate or not, for over 20 minutes.

“I very rarely speak to anybody for over five minutes. At the game, when you’ve been at war with somebody, why would you want to speak to anybody for that long? They could have used more common sense.”

He won’t be happy if Rice, Soucek and Coufal catch up at full-time then…

7.10pm: Southgate speaks. He says to ITV…

On Mount and Chilwell: “They’re hugely disappointed to miss the games. We’ve just had to get on with it. 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.

“Frankly I don’t understand it at all. There are teams travelling round by plane, by bus, by coach for hours. I really don’t get it. I said yesterday I’ve no issue for Scotland, I don’t want them to have more than we’ve had, but it seems a bizarre situation.”

On leaving out Foden: “Because he’s on a yellow card. We look like we’ll miss two for the next game. I don’t want to take a risk on a third. It’s a shame for Phil but I think it’s a sensible decision.”

Southgate also appears to rule out Chilwell and Mount from England’s last 16 match, insisting it will be very difficult for them to play due to the team’s training schedule.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

7.05pm: So why is Borussia Dortmund winger and Manchester United transfer target Sancho still not starting? The former England international Andros Townsend, in his Euro 2020 column for the Daily Mirror, thinks he knows why.

Reading between the lines I don’t think Jadon Sancho has impressed Gareth Southgate in training,” Townsend said in his latest piece.

“Gareth has had the privilege of watching each player train over the past three weeks going back to the beginning of June. He is in a far better position than you or me to judge who deserves to be in the team, who should be on the bench and who should be in the stands.

“It tells me either Jadon hasn’t been training well or the other wingers have been training slightly better. A manager won’t want to throw his player under the bus so he will be discreet about the reasons why. But Gareth will want Jadon to show him more if he is to make an appearance at these Euros.”

Should the wide-man get some minutes off the bench tonight?

7pm: So then, Czech Republic are unchanged. The West Ham duo of Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal both start at midfield and at right-back respectively.

Joint tournament top goalscorer Patrik Schick, who is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku and Gini Wijnaldum on three goals, leads the line.

6.55pm: And the Czech Republic starting eleven…

              Czech Republic XI: Vaclik, Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril, Holes, Soucek, Masopust, Darida, Jankto, Schick

              Czech Republic bench: Koubek, Mandous, Kaderabek, Brabec, Barak, Krmencik, Sevcik, Hlozek, Vydra, Kral, Mateju, Pekhart

6.50pm: The big talking point from that is that Sancho again remains on the bench, and that Foden is not in the squad whatsoever.

We’ll hear more about whether the Manchester City man has picked up an injury when Southgate speaks to the broadcasters pre-match.

Happy with that line-up? Any decisions you’d have made differently? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @DExpress_Sport.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

6.30pm: And the England team is officially in…

             England XI: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones, Shaw; Phillips, Rice, Grealish; Saka, Kane, Sterling

             England bench: Johnstone, Ramsdale, Mings, White, Coady, James, Trippier, Bellingham, Henderson, Sancho, Rashford, Calvert-Lewin

That means it’s actually four changes from the Scotland draw, with Mings, James, Mount and Foden dropping out for Maguire, Walker, Grealish and Saka.

Arsenal’s versatile attacker Saka starts out wide and will hope to inject some more energy and dynamism than was on show from his team-mates last Friday night.

With Mount and Chilwell unavailable, the only player to miss out on the 23 from the 26-man squad is Foden, who is presumably just being rested.

6.20pm: Earlier ‘leaked’ team news suggested that England boss Gareth Southgate will stick with Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling either side of goalless frontman Harry Kane.

But it’s thought Jack Grealish is also primed to start while Harry Maguire could displace Tyrone Mings at centre-back.

Jadon Sancho will start on the substitutes’ bench having yet to play a single minute of the tournament until now.

Chilwell has yet to feature at the Euros and Southgate has Luke Shaw, Kieran Trippier and even Bukayo Saka as options in that position.

The full confirmed line-ups are expected shortly – and we’ll see how many changes Southgate makes from the Scotland draw.

England vs Czech Republic LIVE: Confirmed team news for Group D decider - Grealish starts

England vs Czech Republic LIVE (Image: GETTY)

6.10pm: England will be without Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell this evening with the Chelsea pair in isolation.

The duo were in close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after Friday night’s game with the midfielder since testing positive for coronavirus.

They will isolate for 10 days, meaning they might also be unavailable for next week’s last 16 tie.

The FA confirmed on Tuesday morning: “Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.

“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.

“The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.”

6pm: Good evening and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of England’s final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic at Wembley.

Having beaten Croatia but drawn with Scotland, Gareth Southgate’s side are already into the knockout stages of the Euros.

The four best third-placed teams from the six groups make it through to the last 16 and Ukraine and Finland finished third in their groups on Monday night on three points apiece.

That means even if England finish third tonight, which they will if they lose and Scotland win, they will still progress.

Tonight’s opponents Czech Republic beat Scotland and drew with Croatia but are above England thanks to their superior goal difference.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England players making Gareth Southgate complaint ahead of Czech Republic Euro 2020 clash

England players think Gareth Southgate ‘has his favourites’ ahead of tonight’s clash with Czech Republic, according to reports. The Three Lions enter the contest with their qualification to the Euro 2020 knockout stages already assured. But they have a point to prove, having struggled against Scotland last time out.

England have endured a mixed start to their Euro 2020 campaign.

They were good against Croatia in their opening showdown, winning 1-0 courtesy of a second half goal by Raheem Sterling.

But England were dire in their goalless draw with Scotland, with fans jeering them off the Wembley pitch in the aftermath.

Southgate’s side are already through to the next round of Euro 2020 but will be looking to top the group when they face off against Czech Republic tonight.

Yet, ahead of that game, The Athletic say England players believe the 50-year-old ‘has his favourites’.

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It’s claimed members of the dressing room consider Mason Mount to be one of those, with the Chelsea star starting both matches at the tournament so far.

However, with Mount isolating after coming into close contact with Billy Gilmour, it’s now possible he’ll miss out on a starting berth this evening.

Another one of Southgate’s favourites is believed to be Jordan Henderson, with the Liverpool star fighting to get fit in time for the competition’s knockout stages.

And Sterling himself is a third member of the squad who England players think is in the 50-year-old’s good books.

It’s claimed England players have noted Southgate’s reluctance at lavishing big praise on Jack Grealish when speaking at media events, while the Aston Villa star’s camp are far from happy.

Those close to Grealish reportedly find it hard to accept players like Sterling, who struggled for Manchester City last term, are picked ahead of the playmaker.

And they also think Southgate ‘always has an excuse up his sleeve to leave him out’ – while also believing it’s a ‘blind spot on the manager’s part’.

Grealish is likely to be left on the bench again tonight, as well as Manchester United transfer target Jadon Sancho.

Yet whether England can win against their opponents with the duo left out remains to be seen, with Southgate under pressure to get it right.

Another person currently feeling the heat is Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who has failed to score at Euro 2020 so far.

He was hooked against Scotland last time out and some supporters have called on Southgate to drop the forward as a result of his flat showings at the competition.

But Southgate has given Kane a vote of confidence, saying: “I think the only thing that’s relevant is what I’ve said already this week.

“His importance to the team – he’s been our best player, our most influential player, our most important player for a long period of time.

“Of course there’s been moments where the likes of Raheem (Sterling) have probably had periods where he’s been critical for our success as well in terms the goalscoring, but Harry has consistently been our top goalscorer, his record since I’ve been in charge is phenomenal and he’s a hugely important figure for us.

“I think it’s the world of a big player. Throughout the time I’ve been England manager I must have managed these sorts of questions about Harry in three or four different periods of time, and inevitably he’s come through those periods and scored important goals for us and played exceptionally well. So it’s a bit of a repetitive cycle.”

He then added: “The big players have big focus, have a lot more attention, and their world is far more complicated than a lot of other players who can go under that radar of pressure and intensity.

“So I’ve got a huge understanding of how that is for Harry, a huge understanding of having played with big personalities, big players how their world is different and hopefully that helps me to manage him and get the best out of him, which over a long period of time I think we have done.”

England will better their Euro 2016 group stage points tally if they win tonight.

They finished second in the standings five years ago, with Wales taking top spot.

And whether England can fare better this year overall is something only time will tell. 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England team news leaked with Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho set for Czech Republic snubs

But they’re still to start at Euro 2020 and, despite the Three Lions already being through to the next stage of the tournament, it seems like they’ll have to wait a little longer.

While Mason Mount is isolating after coming into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, it’s Jude Bellingham who will supposedly start instead.

And that will disappoint supporters who had hoped to see Grealish start, especially given his status as one of the team’s most entertaining players.

Regarding Sancho, the forward appears to be closing in on a move to Manchester United.

But Southgate, speaking recently, insisted he would be careful about how to use the 21-year-old – citing his lack of experience at major tournaments as a factor behind his stance.

“We’ve got some explosive options and a lot of them are young players and experiencing a big tournament for the first time,” he said after the Scotland game.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell out of Czech Republic clash after Covid-19 scare

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been ruled out of England’s match against the Czech Republic in Euro 2020 at Wembley tonight. The duo came into contact with Billy Gilmour during Friday’s 0-0 draw and have been told to self-isolate after the Scotland midfielder tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement from the Football Association read: “We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday [28 June]. This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

“The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive COVID-19 test following last Friday’s match.

“Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.

“We will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE. 

JUST IN: Italy launch bid to rob Euro 2020 final from England but FA deal close

Topping Group D will see England face the runner-up in Group F, meaning a tie against one of France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary at Wembley at 5pm on Tuesday, June 29.

Finishing second in Group D would book a tie against the winners of Group E, which will be one of Sweden, Slovakia, Poland or Spain.

Although unlikely, if England lose to the Czech Republic they could qualify as the third-place side in Group D, an eventuality which could see them face the winners of Group C, the Netherlands, in Budapest at 5pm on Sunday, June 27.

However, finishing third could also see them head to Seville to play Belgium, the winners of Group B, at 8pm on Sunday, June 27.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England set to be without Mount and Chilwell vs Czech Republic as Southgate faces changes

England manager Gareth Southgate conceded there is a “high possibility” the Chelsea pair will have to sit out the Wembley showdown after they were listed by the FA as possible close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who has tested positive.

Mount, who has played every minute of England’s two games at the tournament, and Chilwell, who has yet to feature, have both tested negative but spent time with their Chelsea team-mate in the tunnel after Friday’s 0-0 draw.

They are self-isolating as a precaution while they await a final decision by Public Health England over whether their exposure was sufficient for them to be required to continue to do so.

“We’ve got to follow the guidelines and if there is any risk with these two players then we’ve got to make sure we don’t put any other players at risk. But the ins and outs of what would classify as being contact – they are the discussions that are ongoing,” said Southgate.

“In terms of the team, we’ll need to go through details with the players in the morning really, so we’ll have to know by first thing of their availability and if not we’ll just have to play on without them.

“I can’t say it isn’t disruptive. We don’t really know at this point whether they might be OK for tomorrow, or they could be out for 10 days.”

Gilmour, who has no symptoms, will miss Scotland’s game against Croatia and their last-16 tie if they progress as he self-isolates for 10 days. No other Scotland player has been required to sit out the game.

Mount and Chilwell should be able to return to training on Thursday even if they are deemed close contacts – as long as they continue to pass daily tests.

Against Czech Republic, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham will be among the candidates to replace Mount while either Kieran Trippier or Luke Shaw will start at left-back.

Neil Squires comment

It used to be the penalty shoot-out lottery that did for England at major tournaments, now it is the coronavirus lottery they have to contend with.

The viral finger of fate was always going to point at one team or another in a Covid era Euros and it probably should come as no surprise that one of them is England.

Gareth Southgate manages one of the few international teams to go all season without a positive test. His side’s number was bound to come up at some point. It just had to be at the Euros themselves though, didn’t it?

He will have wargamed this scenario and he took a sanguine take on the situation last night but it remains an unwanted complication.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

England through to Euro 2020 last 16 before Czech Republic match thanks to Denmark win

England will definitely head into the Euro 2020 last-16 even if they lose to Czech Republic on Tuesday. 

The Three Lions could suffer the ignominy of finishing third in Group D but still go through as their four points would make them one of the best third-placed teams.

UEFA’s format for the tournament means that four of the best third-placed teams go through to the knockout round. 

England could face the strange prospect of a disappointing defeat against Czech Republic on Tuesday but still go through. 

Gareth Southgate’s side are currently second in Group D but Russia’s 4-1 thumping of Russia in Group B has provided a safety net as England will certainly be one of the best third-placed countries.

They started their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Croatia. 

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal midway through the second half in a positive performance.

However, Sterling and his team-mates were far less promising during their goalless draw against Scotland on Friday. 

England scarcely created a chance in the stalemate and Scotland were the far better side at Wembley Stadium. 

Czech Republic are next to visit Wembley and are in good form. 

They too have four points after beating Scotland 2-0, a game which included a stunning long-range goal by Patrik Schik, before drawing with Croatia. 

But England’s plans for the game have been thrown into disarray with two stars forced to self-isolate. 

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell both came into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after the sides’ draw on Friday and Gilmour has since tested positive for COVID-19. 

The England pair have tested negative but will be kept away from the squad until further guidance by Public Health England, despite training with the squad on Monday. 

Southgate has also faced calls to drop captain Harry Kane after two worrying performances by the Tottenham striker. 

Kane is yet to have a shot on target in either of England’s opening two matches. 

However, Southgate has suggested that he will persist with his star player. 

“I think the only thing that’s relevant is what I’ve said already this week,” Southgate said.

“His importance to the team – he’s been our best player, our most influential player, our most important player for a long period of time.

“Of course there’s been moments where the likes of Raheem (Sterling) have probably had periods where he’s been critical for our success as well in terms the goalscoring.

“But Harry has consistently been our top goalscorer, his record since I’ve been in charge is phenomenal and he’s a hugely important figure for us.

“I think it’s the world of a big player. Throughout the time I’ve been England manager I must have managed these sorts of questions about Harry in three or four different periods of time, and inevitably he’s come through those periods and scored important goals for us and played exceptionally well.

“So it’s a bit of a repetitive cycle.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Riders Republic Launches September 2 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Get ready to jump into a huge open world of outdoor sports when Riders Republic launches on September 2 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. You can fly solo or roll with friends in this massive multiplayer outdoor sports playground, competing in biking, skiing, snowboarding, wing suiting and rocket wing suiting.

In the Riders Ridge social space, you can learn to master tricks, manage your career, and share your own in-game creations. Squad up with or against your friends in a variety of multiplayer modes:

Riders Republic
  • Mass Races: Join more than 50 players on Xbox Series X|S and more than 20 players on Xbox One in these epic multisport races. New races appear randomly on the map, so you’ll need to remain agile as you fight your way to the finish line.
  • Tricks Battle: Compete in 6v6 matchups and try to land as many tricks as possible on the various modules to earn points. The team with the highest score wins.
  • Versus Mode: Join up with friends to see who’s the very best.
  • Free for All: Challenge new opponents in 12-player sessions and show them how it’s done through a select playlist of events.
  • Multiplayer Competition: Made for the top riders to show off and show out, ultimately making it to the top divisions.

When you want to ride solo, you can make a name for yourself through five different career progressions. As you continue to progress in the Republic, you’ll sign with legendary sponsors and get invited to renowned sports competitions such as Red Bull Rampage and the X Games.

Riders Republic, developed by Ubisoft Annecy, allows you to ride through notable landscapes in the United States, including Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain, and Grand Teton. And as seen in a new trailer revealed at Ubisoft Forward, you’ll be able to do wild tricks off buildings and a ski resort in the city playgrounds in Mammoth.

Riders Republic

Make the most of new-gen gameplay on Xbox Series X|S, where Riders Republic runs at 60 FPS and displays more than 50 live players simultaneously onscreen. And if you want more content, you can preorder the Gold and Ultimate Editions now. Note that the final content of the Gold and Ultimate editions might change, and some features may not be available at launch.

  • includes the base game and the Year 1 Pass, which includes exotic kits to help upgrade your gear; the BMX Sport add-on; and other exclusive content coming after launch. Rocket Bike and Rocket Ski exotic kits will be available at launch.
  • includes the Year 1 Pass and four exclusive cosmetic packs: Cosmic, Rainbow, Neon, and Skull’n Style. Players will also get 20 Helicopter tickets to reach their favorite summits faster than ever.

Every preorder of Riders Republic comes with the Bunny Pack, which includes a custom cute bunny outfit, an additional blue bunny head, and rainbow snowboard paint. Riders Republic launches on September 2 for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, and will support cross-play and cross-save across all platforms. Prepare to show off your wildest tricks and dominate the mountains and canyons, and for all the latest information visit ridersrepublic.com and keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire.

Xbox Live

Xbox Live

Riders Republic™

Ubisoft

☆☆☆☆☆
★★★★★
This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and the Xbox Series X|S title. Pre-order now to get the Bunny Pack! Includes custom bunny outfit and snowboard graphic. Jump into the Riders Republic™ massive multiplayer playground! Grab your bike, skis, snowboard, or wingsuit and explore an open world sports paradise where the rules are yours to make—or break. – Battle against over 50 players simultaneously in a massive multiplayer playground—over 20 players on Xbox One. – Compete in an all-out mass start race—collide, grind, and fight your way to the finish! – Customize your character to show off your style to your friends or show up the competition. – Bike, ski, snowboard, or wingsuit through a seamless open world in Career mode or multiplayer events. – Go wild in iconic US national parks like Yosemite and Zion.

Author: Chastity Vicencio, Associate Editorial Communications Manager, Ubisoft
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Star Wars: Republic Commando Dev Apparently Investigating Switch Frame Rate Issues

Republic Commando

If you got your hands on Star Wars: Republic Commando for Nintendo Switch earlier this week, you might have noticed – or at least heard – about some distracting frame rate issues in this version. We’ve had a bit of a mixed experience, too.

Videos on YouTube show the game’s frame rate can be anywhere between 15 and 40 FPS. It’s got a number of players requesting a fix of sorts and some have contacted Aspyr via its support page. Now, one Reddit user (brokowska420) has apparently received the following response back from the company.

In the message, the developer says it’s investigating the “performance and low frame rates” in the Switch release and hopes to resolve them soon:

Hello, thanks for reaching out to Aspyr Support.

We appreciate you reaching out about this issue. Our devs are currently investigating the Switch’s performance and low frame rates, hopefully we’ll be able to resolve them soon. We appreciate your support, and apologies for the frustration.

We’ll close this issue for now, but we’ll tag it, and if a fix is released we’ll let you know! If you have any other questions or concerns, send us a new message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Aspyr Support

Aspyr, unfortunately, hasn’t had the best run with other Star Wars releases, either. When Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy arrived on the Switch last April, players quickly identified a major cross-play loophole.

Fortunately, it was patched within a few weeks – so if the frame rate is playing up in Republic Commando, it’ll be sorted out sooner rather than later. How have you found the Switch version of the game so far? Leave a comment down below.

Review Star Wars: Republic Commando Not An Elegant Weapon, But Still A Blast

Star Wars: Republic Commando Review - Screenshot 1 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Taking a big chance in 2005, LucasArts added a darker, more realistic style to the tried-and-and-true elements of the galaxy far-conquering franchise: grittier Jedi, epic star battles, and simplistic “feel” elements such as blasters and lightsabers, but dealth, for a lower fantastical expectations of quality to a more (since Star Wars fans really demand “heroic” action in their Star Wars entertainment). Star Wars: Republic Commando was praised upon release, but still holds its place among the top ten titles in the Star Wars games franchises, for the reasons detailed plot, solid mechanics, and outstanding community involvement it offered at launch. but sixteen (or even more) years later, is it still valuable as an instructional tool? Would you be willing to engage in all this conflict all over again on the Switch port?

Well, surprisingly enough, the answer is a pretty resounding yes. We had our doubts as we booted this one up — most first person shooters from the 2000s don’t usually tend to age particularly well (unless they’re Half Life 2) and can often be a bit of a pain to return to — but what’s here is still a very good time indeed. Blasting your way across Geonosis in order to assassinate separatist leader Sun Fac, investigating the darkened corridors of the derelict Prosecutor assault ship and mounting a Wookie rescue mission in the forests of Kashyyk feel almost as good today as it did back when we first got to grips with this one, and this is mostly down to the game’s wonderfully well-implemented squad system and a sleek HUD that really wouldn’t seem out of place in a modern shooter.

Star Wars: Republic Commando Review - Screenshot 2 of 4

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undock

Directing your three AI teammates around in Star Wars: Republic Commando is just such a supremely simple and satisfying thing to do. Whether you’re ordering them to take up a sniping position to get a tactical advantage over incoming enemies, rig traps on explosive barrels, breach doors, disarm mines, slice consoles, revive downed comrades — including yourself — or get themselves healed up at a Bacta dispenser, Scorch, Fixer and Sev are never anything less than a joy to work with. By simply aiming your reticule at an icon representing any one of these commands as they appear throughout the game’s world, your team will hurriedly get to work, smartly and capably dealing with threats as they do so. You can also hold in the ‘A’ button for a further layer of tactical choice, enabling you to call your team to form up around you, search and destroy, secure areas and focus fire on selected enemies.

For a game that takes place, for the most part, in tightly confined corridors, this wealth of options in how you direct your small unit around gives the whole endeavour a thrilling sense of actual teamwork. You really do get to feel as though you’re in charge of a badass, genetically-enhanced commando squad, infiltrating dangerous enemy territory and laying the absolute laser smack down. This sense of camaraderie, of working together and directing your men, is then further enhanced by constant radio chatter that manages to imbue this group of super soldiers with actual personalities.

There’s smart use of sound effects and music from the movies too, as well as some top-notch original compositions by the game’s composer, Jesse Harlin. This is atmospheric stuff that knows exactly when to deploy its signature Star Wars noises and makes good use of the best parts of the prequel trilogy. The wonderfully well-designed battle droids from those movies make for entertaining cannon-fodder, making all the right death sounds and falling apart in a satisfying manner as you drill them with your weapons. Your HUD, designed to imitate the inside of a Clone Trooper’s helmet, also adds much to the atmosphere here, keeping all your vital info front-and-centre without it getting in the way. It also enables you to switch to a tactical mode that highlights individual teammate’s locations and a low-light night vision mode that gives the action a weirdly realistic and gritty look as you mow down enemy units in the darkness.

Star Wars: Republic Commando Review - Screenshot 3 of 4

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

In terms of weapons, your default commando gun smartly morphs into several different forms, with a handful of attachments that let you switch between assault rifle, sniper and grenade launching modes. Dead enemies also drop some sweet boomsticks that you can pick up and use at your leisure, with the shotgun here a particularly satisfying addition to your armoury that’s great for blasting great big green holes in slavers and is nicely complemented by a concussion rifle that makes short work of mechanical menaces.

Besides guns, you also have a bunch of different grenade types to cycle through, each of which is best used to control and corral certain types of enemies. You’ll need pulse grenades to take out the larger types of battle droids, for example, sending them into electro-convulsions and lowering their shields in order to get some shots in, whereas thermal detonators are best chucked into busy corridors full of fleshy foes.

Of course this is still a sixteen-year-old game and there’s no doubt that what’s on offer here, even with the benefits of that smart squad system, does feel rather long-in-the-tooth in some regards. There’s no getting away from the rather dated visuals, which definitely look cleaner here but can still be rather hard on the eyes in places, and the layout of the short levels is resolutely linear, corridor upon samey corridor of rather repetitive enemies to relentlessly pound your way through. The story is serviceable enough while it lasts, though it ends abruptly and without any fanfare whatsoever after just seven or so hours. This is a pretty basic port too, there’s no gyro support — although it isn’t particularly necessary here — and beyond a bit of a resolution boost, a barely perceivable lick of paint, modernised controls and HD Rumble, what you’ve got is pretty much identical to the game as it was back in 2005, sans that version’s excellent multiplayer mode.

Star Wars: Republic Commando Review - Screenshot 4 of 4

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

However, these niggles aside, Star Wars: Republic Commando is still one of our absolute favourite Star Wars games and something of a must-play for fans of the franchise who missed out first time around. This is a surprisingly dark and gritty tactical take on everyone’s favourite space saga that’s aged far better than it really had any right too, serves up a good few hours of top-notch pew-pew action and is a massively welcome addition to the Switch’s currently rather paltry selection of Star Wars offerings.

Conclusion

Star Wars: Republic Commando has aged surprisingly well and proves to be a ton of fun to revisit in this admittedly rather basic Switch port. The squad system here is still supremely satisfying to get to grips with, the HUD elements are slick, and there’s plenty of atmospheric fun to be had as you blast your way through the three campaign stories on offer. Yes, there’s no doubt the level design is archaic, there’s no great variety in enemies, the visuals have had only the most basic of touch-ups and it’s a real shame the multiplayer has been completely excised. Overall, though, this is still a welcome return for one of the very best Star Wars video game offerings.