Euro 2020 LIVE: England vs Croatia build-up, Southgate 'job safe' even if Three Lions crash out, Maguire fitness LATEST

EURO 2020 is finally here!

Italy and Turkey got the party started in Rome, where the Azzurri were sublime as they cruised to a 3-0 win.

Wales are in action today against Switzerland, while England are preparing for a tough opening fixture against Croatia on Sunday.

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  • ⚽️Build-up LIVE: Latest news and updates from around the teams

Follow all of the latest news, build up and updates below…

  • Jake Lambourne

    DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

    Gareth Southgate's England troops were fully suited and booted for their final Euro 2020 photoshoot.

    The Three Lions will kick off their campaign at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, locking horns with Croatia in front of 22,500 fans.

    And the players will be decked out in Marks and Spencer's finest suits before they make their way to the pitch.

    Snaps of the team's final pre-tournament photoshoot at St. George's Park were released this weekend.

    The players looked sharp in their navy suits, which were accompanied by white shirts and brown shoes.

    A nice navy tie – which featured red and white stripes – completed the dashing get-up.

    Gareth Southgate's squad for Euro 2020 pose for a group photo
  • Jake Lambourne

    CRO-CIAL KNOWLEDGE

    An England fan flew a banner over their training base with tactical advice warning most Croatia goals 'come down the left'.

    Gareth Southgate's side kick off their Euros campaign against Croatia at Wembley tomorrow afternoon.

    And just a day before tournament opener, Southgate and the squad were given a helping hand from outside the camp.

    A banner flying over St George’s Park read 'most #Cro goals come down left'.

    An England fan flew a banner over their training base with tactical advice
  • Jake Lambourne

    RIGHT ON GVARD

    Croatia star Josko Gvardiol is desperate to down England at Wembley – to help secure himself a dream Premier League move.

    Gvardiol, 19, made his debut in the friendly defeat to Belgium last week but already has experience of upsetting the English.

    He joined RB Leipzig last summer from Dinamo Zagreb but remained on-loan with his hometown club and helped knock Harry Kane and Tottenham out of the Europa League in March.

    Leeds United were keen on bringing the versatile ace, who can play either centre-half or left-back, to the Prem a year ago, but it is another English club he is desperate to play for.

    Gvardiol told 24hr Sata: “From a young age, I watched Liverpool games with my dad and I grew up with just them.

    “When I took football more seriously, I started following them, and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool move one day.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    RUN FOR KOVA

    Chelsea and Croatia ace Mateo Kovacic believes the midfield battle will be key during their clash against England on Sunday.

    He said: "I see the midfield as the main topic here. England are very good in terms of attacking, as are we, so it’s two pretty big teams and it’s gonna be a tough team in terms of the midfield.

    "They have an excellent midfield. [Mason] Mount is in excellent form. [Declan] Rice as well in West Ham, and [Jordan] Henderson. They have a lot of quality there but so have we – we have excellence there.

    "So it’s going to be a tough match, a lot of fights in the midfield, but we’re ready for that. We all know what kind of match we have ahead of us.

    "We’re preparing and we are for every match and we’re going to do our best and give our all."

  • Jake Lambourne

    BEHIND THE SCENES

    Take a look at what happens behind closed doors at St George's Park.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GROAN GOAL

    Can England go all the way without going all the way?  

    The Three Lions' WAGs and families are banned from the team hotel for the Euros due to Covid-19 squad bubbles.

    Boss Gareth Southgate hopes players can have a 'little bit of home time' but it still exposes the question of whether abstaining from sex is good or bad for sportspeople before games.

    In other words, would England be better off as the Sex–Free Lions?

    Or would Southgate's up-and-coming players have more chance of putting to bed 55 years without a major trophy if private cuddles were added to public huddles?

    Scientific evidence suggests sex is no physical impairment for sporting performance soon afterwards – and in fact could be beneficial.

    Read more HERE.

  • Jake Lambourne

    NOT FINE

    England fans could be fined £1,000 for flying an England flag from their cars during Euro 2020.

    While there is no offence for driving with a flag attached to your car, large ones could break road regulations, WalesOnline reports.

    Regulation 30 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 states motorists must have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.

    Driving with any kind of obstruction on your car windows or windscreens can limit your field of vision, potentially reducing reaction time and even contributing to an accident.

    The practice can also impact your insurance if you're involved in an accident.

    Insurers aren't likely to cover any damage or injuries sustained in a crash if your vision is impacted by decorations.

    This means large flags which could hamper drivers' views would break the rules – and drivers of cars or small vans slapped with a £1,000 fine.

  • Jake Lambourne

    STROKE OF LUK

    Mason Mount went to England’s last major tournament as a starstruck fan.

    Tomorrow the Champions League-winning Chelsea midfielder will line up against childhood idol Luka Modric as an equal — after the Croatia legend asked HIM to complete a shirt swap.

    Mount and fellow young England prospects Phil Foden and Ryan Sessegnon were whisked off to Russia by sponsors to take in a Three Lions group game and experience everything that surrounds a World Cup.

    Mount, now 22, said: “The Russia trip, I look back at the pictures now and we all look so young.

    “I was very lucky enough to watch one of the group games. So even to be around it and witness that atmosphere of a major tournament, I remember that very vividly.

    “I remember walking around the TV set and we did a little interview with Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker and we actually stumbled across Cesc Fabregas and had a little chat."

    Read more HERE.

  • Jake Lambourne

    LION IN BED

    There's just one thing Mason Mount doesn’t enjoy about being at a major tournament with best friend Declan Rice – the early morning wake-up call.

    Mount and West Ham star Rice, mates since they were at the Chelsea Academy together, have rooms next to each other at England’s St George’s Park headquarters.

    Mount said: “He is there next door and every time he wakes up, he wakes up earlier than me and he tries to knock on my door and wake me up to go to breakfast every morning.

    “I might have to move a couple of doors down so I'm not right next to him.

    “To have my best mate with me and to go through this experience with him and obviously all of the other boys as well, it means a lot.

    “It's something that is very special to us and that we’ll remember for a long time.”

    Mason Mount and Declan Rice have rooms next to each other at England’s HQ
  • Jake Lambourne

    THIS IS EUR MOMENT

    SOL CAMPBELL EXCLUSIVE – I've never felt more cheated than after my last England game at a Euros.

    That’s why I urge Gareth  Southgate’s squad to be themselves and leave nothing behind —  because they may never be in this position again.

    Having my extra-time winner against Portugal in Lisbon in 2004 wrongly disallowed was the most frustrating moment of my career.

    It was the second time it had happened to me, after the game against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.

    In Saint-Etienne the referee said there was a foul by Alan Shearer before I headed it in.

    Having my extra-time winner against Portugal in Lisbon in 2004 wrongly disallowed was the most frustrating moment of my career.

    Read more from the Arsenal legend by clicking HERE.

  • Jack Figg

    EURO 2020 ROUND-UP

    Wales are first off for Britain today in the Euros – after Italy launched the tournament with an impressive 3-0 tonking of Turkey.

    After Gareth Bale and Co's 2pm clash with Switzerland, Denmark play rank outsiders Finland at 5pm and Belgium meet Russia at 8.

    Meanwhile, England boss Gareth Southgate goes into Sunday's crunch with Croatia knowing his job is 100 per cent safe — until after the 2022 World Cup.

    Southgate faces a huge selection headache due to his ample attacking alternatives and more dubious defensive options.

    But former Three Lions' striker Emile Heskey believes Southgate should axe one of this season's outstanding creative trio Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Mason Mount.

    Ex-Liverpool star Heskey reckons England would benefit from an extra runner or two like Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford – rather than picking what might be considered their most exciting XI.

    Scotland will take a knee with the Three Lions – but will stand against racism in their home group matches.

    Steve Clarke’s side host the Czech Republic on Monday and visit England next Friday, before Croatia come to Hampden for Scotland’s Group D finale on 22 June.

    Finally, France are now 9/2 tournament favourites, with the Three Lions dropping to second tips on 11/2.

  • Ian Tuckey

    WEMBLEY WIN FOR WAGs

    ENGLAND’S team of wives and girlfriends will roar on the Three Lions at Wembley after getting the Covid all-clear.

    They were each screened for the virus 48 hours ahead of tomorrow’s 2pm kick-off against Croatia by medical staff from the players’ Premier League clubs.

    They include Harry Kane’s missus Katie Goodland, Jordan Pickford’s wife Megan Davison and Harry Maguire’s fiancee Fern Hawkins, along with Kyle Walker’s fiancee Annie Kilner.

    The women will meet at a secret location for lunch before the group opener and will also be joined by family members.

    The party will then be driven to Wembley by coach to take their seats.

    The Football Association will have player liaison officials on hand to guide the group.

    Strict protocols are being employed to observe ongoing Covid restrictions.

     

  • Ian Tuckey

    AXE ONE OF GREALISH, FODEN OR MOUNT

    EXCLUSIVE: Emile Heskey always put the team ahead of individual glory and believes Gareth Southgate must bench one of his big stars for the same reason.

    Fans and pundits have been calling on the England manager to start Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Mason Mount at the Euros this summer.

    But ex-Three Lions hitman Heskey insists it is about picking the best XI rather than the best individuals.

    That means dropping one of the trio for runners like Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford.

  • Ian Tuckey

    POGBA NOW SHINING

    EXCLUSIVE: Christian Karambeu says Manchester United are now starting to see the ‘France Paul Pogba’.

    The leader, superstar and midfield general.

    1998 World Cup winner Karembeu understands there have been detractors that feel Pogba’s outings at club level are a far cry from those on the international scene.

    He heroically helped lead France to glorious victory at Russia 2018. Videos showed Pogba’s rousing team talks and his displays on the field matched it.

    Olympiakos sporting director Karembeu said: “With France he takes responsibility on the pitch, he is a leader and the manager has faith in him. As a result, he shines.

    “Unfortunately at Manchester United he was injured a lot and often had  relapses.

    “It hasn’t been easy for Paul to accept criticism – but he is an intelligent person and bounced back very quickly."

  • Ian Tuckey

    SOUTHGATE SAFE UNTIL 2022

    Gareth Southgate goes into tomorrow’s Euro 2020 opener knowing his job is 100 per cent safe — until after the World Cup.

    The England boss, fine-tuning his preparations for the Croatia crunch, has the full backing of the FA.

    And even if the Three Lions have a disastrous tournament, he will remain in charge for Qatar 2022.

    FA chiefs are fully committed to Southgate, who has impressed with his work on and off the pitch since taking over in 2016.

    Southgate, whose contract runs until the end of the 2022 World Cup, has struggled with injuries and player availability in the build-up to the Wembley opener.

    But the Three Lions chief last night issued a rallying cry to his players as he insisted they can handle the big-game pressure.

    Southgate, 50, said: “We have to show that. Some of our youngest players have got experience of big games and tournaments are about hitting form at the right time.

    “We have to bring everything over the next four weeks.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    F/T: TURKEY 0 ITALY 3

    Merih Demiral’s 53rd-minute own goal, Ciro Immobile's fierce finish and Lorenzo Insigne poached strike earned Italy's highly-impressive victory in the Euro 2020 opener.

    Click on our live blog HERE for reaction from Rome

  • Ian Tuckey

    THE MINI CAR'S THE EURO STAR

    EURO 2020 finally got under way in bizarre fashion – with the matchball arriving by a remote control car.

    After a 12 month delay, the European Championship kicked off tonight as Turkey took on Italy.

    Fans were left in stitches after the matchball was delivered onto the pitch by a remote control car

    After a stunning opening ceremony, the whole of Europe was desperate to see the tournament kick off after a year's delay they were then forced to wait as the mini motor made its way to the centre circle.

    And Twitter soon went into meltdown just seconds before the match action got started.

    The respective captains had taken part in the coin toss with the referee in the centre circle they were forced to wait for the matchball to be delivered.

    And it was brought onto the field in quite the unique fashion – via remote control car made by tournament sponsors VW.

    As expected, the moment was not missed by those watching from home, and viewers instantly took to Twitter to react in disbelief at what they had just seen – although not everybody hated it.

  • Ian Tuckey

    LATEST: TURKEY 0 ITALY 3

    Ciro Immobile pounced on a loose ball after 66 minutes and Lorenzo Insigne  thumped home 13 minutes later as Italy dominated with a triple burst.

    Click on our live blog HERE for this Euro 2020 opener in Rome.

  • Ian Tuckey

    LATEST: TURKEY 0 ITALY 1

    Merih Demiral's 53rd-minute own goal deservedly put the Azzurri in front.

    Dangerman Domenico Berardi's raking cross was deflected in by Demiral ahead of Italy striker Ciro Immobile.

  • Ian Tuckey

    EURO 2020 LATEST: HT – TURKEY 0 ITALY 0

    The Azzurri passed the ball around neatly and certainly had plenty of the ball in a goalless first half – but lacked a sharp edge in the final third of the pitch.

    Click on our live blog HERE for this Euro 2020 opener in Rome.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Dortmund burst Utd Ballon

    Borussia Dortmund have reportedly rejected Manchester United’s proposed Ballon d’Or clause in any deal for Jadon Sancho.

    SunSport revealed this week that the Red Devils have agreed personal terms with the England winger, worth £350,000-a-week over five years.

    Borussia Dortmund are insisting United increase their offer of £61million to £78m, with a further £10m in add-ons, but this is expected to happen.

    United expect the deal to go through smoothly after a summer of wrangling last year when they refused to meet the German club’s £110m price.

    According to the Athletic, the last part of the transfer is largely down to bonuses with Dortmund keen on realistically achievable add-ons.

    The Bundesliga giants are said to be seeking instalments that are based on club income via team success rather than individual awards.

    That has caused Dortmund to reject United’s Ballon d’Or clause that would have been triggered if Sancho finished in the top three in the annual gong.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ‘GUNNERS AND UTD IN FOR TRIPPIER’

    Manchester United are trying to seal a cheap transfer for Kieran Trippier – but reportedly had a £10million opening bid rejected.

    Trippier played 35 times last season for Atletico, including 28 in the league as Diego Simeone’s side won LaLiga

    It is understood the ex-Spurs man, originally from Bury, is keen on the move to Old Trafford and is even looking at houses in the area.

    But according to Mundo Deportivo, their first offer was a paltry £10m – half the price Atletico Madrid paid for him two years ago.

    The Spanish giants immediately turned it down.

    And the report adds Atleti have told United they must stump up his £35m release clause to have any chance of signing Trippier, who is also a target for Arsenal.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BIG QUEUE FOR THE LEW?

    Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is open to leaving the German champions in the summer transfer window, reports suggest.

    Lewandowski has spent seven glittering years at Bayern where he has won a whopping seven consecutive Bundesliga titles as well as the 2020 Champions League trophy.

    According to AS, however, the star striker is open to a “changing of scene and facing new challenges” after Euro 2020, where he will be representing Poland.

    The 32-year-old also believes this is the “perfect time to get to know another culture and another league “.

    If Lewandowski does decide to leave Munich then he would attract plenty of offers as he is already targeted by Premier League teams.

    Manchester United are looking for a centre-forward, even though Edinson Cavani signed a contract extension recently. Premier League champions City are also searching for someone to replace record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who recently signed for Barcelona.

    Chelsea are on the lookout for a striker as well after winning the Champions League with Timo Werner failing to convince in his maiden season at Stamford Bridge.

  • Ian Tuckey

    MOUNT PEAK WAS MODRIC REQUEST

    Mason Mount has revealed he was left stunned after Luka Modric asked for his his shirt.

    Mount came up against one of his heroes during Chelsea's Champions League win over Real Madrid.

    Mason Mount came up against hero Luka Modric in the Champions League

    Mount said: "I always looked up to him as a player in the Premier League at Tottenham.

    "It was weird playing against him because I watched him so much, I knew his moves and what he was going to do."

    Chelsea and England star Mount has long been an admirer of Croatia playmaker Modric.

    Speaking earlier in his career when asked about his footballing heroes, Mount said: "When I was younger and watching the Premier League, Modric at Tottenham, I always loved the way he played and he was always a massive player for Tottenham, so I watched him a lot."

  • Ian Tuckey

    SANCHO SET FOR 2ND PLACE IN UTD PAY LIST

    Manchester United are set to make Jadon Sancho their second highest earner after agreeing personal terms on a £91million contract.

    SunSport revealed this week that the Red Devils have struck a deal with the England winger, worth £350,000-a-week over five years.

    Borussia Dortmund are insisting United increase their offer of £61million to £78m, with a further £10m in add-ons, but this is expected to happen.

    United expect the deal to go through smoothly after a summer of wrangling last year when they refused to meet the German club’s £110m price.

    And Sancho, who will seal a return to Manchester after the Euros, will slot in behind David de Gea in the club’s wage list.

    The Spaniard continues to top the list, raking in £375,000 per week – totalling £19.5million a year.

    Sancho’s arrival means that 14 first-team players will earn £100,000 or more per week, with Paul Pogba (£290k), Anthony Martial (£250k), and Marcus Rashford (£200k) all earning £200,000 or more weekly.

    That number will rise to 15 should Juan Mata agree another contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

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