Serbia vs England LIVE! Euro 2024 result, match stream, latest reaction and updates after Three Lions win

Serbia vs England LIVE! Euro 2024 result, match stream, latest reaction and updates after Three Lions win

Serbia vs England - LIVE!

England survived a second-half scare as they battled to a 1-0 win over Serbia in their opening match at Euro 2024. It was a superb start from the Three Lions, full of purpose and attacking threat, and they were rewarded when Jude Bellingham arrived on the scene to head home from Bukayo Saka’s cross for a 13th minute opener.

There was a feeling that would set the stage for a comfortable night for, but it was not to be. Serbia responded well as Gareth Southgate’s side dropped off in the closing stages of the first-half, and England were firmly under pressure after the break. The chance to put the match to bed came with just over ten minutes remaining, as Jarrod Bowen, just on to replace Bukayo Saka, skipped into space on the right and stood up a cross to the back post, where Harry Kane’s header was superbly tipped onto the bar.

Without the comfort of a second goal it was a nervy conclusion, Dusan Vlahovic forcing Jordan Pickford into an acrobatic save, but England just about held firm to ensure it was a successful start to their bid for European glory.

Serbia vs England latest updates

  • FT: England battle to opening win at Euro 2024

  • OFF THE BAR! Stunning save denies Kane

  • GOAL! Bellingham heads England into early lead

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00:13 , Matt Verri

Before a ball had been kicked at this tournament, England’s star attraction had, with the help of some Adidas marketing moguls, inflated his talismanic image and breathed new life into the nation’s most tired pop song.

But once the kicking started? Well, Hey Jude, that wasn’t bad.

On England’s launch night here in Gelsenkirchen, it was Jude Bellingham’s header that ensured an increasingly dicey meeting with Serbia ended in a 1-0 win, three points on the board and, given the threshold for qualifying, an early foot in the knockout stage.

Read our full analysis here!


Southgate: Suffering will be good for us

22:35 , Matt Verri

“They’re a strong team, we had to suffer a bit, which I think is really good for us. To come through and defend our box the way we did under pressure is important for the group.

“We obviously had good chances to extend the lead and kill the game, which we didn’t manage to take.

“I was really pleased with a lot of the play. Especially the first-half, I thought we used the ball really well. Second-half we didn’t keep it quite as well as we need to, but to get the win and the start that we have is really important.”

Verdict from the main man

22:20 , Matt Verri

Jude Bellingham has been reflecting on that opening win.

He’s not convinced by the “ugly win” description...

Nearly for Kane...

22:15 , Matt Verri

Kane certainly more involved in the second-half, and he very nearly doubled England’s lead.

That would have made it a far more comfortable final ten minutes, but it was a sensational save to deny him.

England player ratings

22:11 , Matt Verri

Jude Bellingham 8

Took his goal brilliantly in an outstanding, all-action first-half display, in which he ran the game. He was less influential in the second half and appeared frustrated at England’s reactive approach.

Phil Foden 5

Neat and tidy but nowhere near as influential as he is for Manchester City. There will inevitably be questions about whether Southgate can best the best from Bellingham and Foden after this game.

Harry Kane 6

Remarkably, the England captain finished the first half with just one touch, as Bellingham ran the show. He was more involved after the break, when his hold-up play was excellent, and he was unlucky not to double England’s lead when his close-range header was turned onto the bar by the goalkeeper.

Read those ratings in full here!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Post-match thoughts from Harry Kane

22:06 , Matt Verri

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, Serbia pose a lot of threats and have some good players. They will make it a battle for you and I think we dealt with it really well.

“There was a spell in the second half where we got camped in our box and we found it hard to get out but it was an important win tonight.

"It's a tough game. They are a tough team and have good players. We stood up to it well and it is good to get the three points and [for us] to progress. It's good that we got the win today.”

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

22:02 , Matt Verri

England get the job done and have already taken a huge step towards the knockouts.

They were not convincing, though, particularly after half-time, and there's work to do for Gareth Southgate ahead of tougher tests to come.

The midfield question still open after a mixed display from Trent Alexander-Arnold and can Southgate get the best from Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden?

Marc Guehi was very good, though.

England top of Group C

21:58 , Matt Verri

With Denmark and Slovenia drawing earlier, it’s England sitting top of the pile in Group C.

Victory over Denmark on Thursday and the Three Lions will be into the knockout stages with time to spare.

If not, it will come down to that final clash against Slovenia.

FT: Serbia 0-1 England

21:55 , Matt Verri

Full-time - job done!

Three points for England, that’s all that really matters.

First 30 minutes were superb, next 60 not particularly great, but the Three Lions are up and running. That’ll do for now.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Serbia 0-1 England

21:53 , Matt Verri

90+3 mins: That’ll do nicely.

Kane with a lovely flop, right in front of the Serbian bench and wins a free-kick.

Wouldn’t say it goes down very well.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:52 , Matt Verri

90+2 mins: Two minutes down, two to go.

Serbia on the charge down the right, nice ball from Tadic. Trippier charges down the cross, but it’s another attack.

Worked to the other side, Bowen with the block. Brilliant work to track back.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:51 , Matt Verri

90 mins: Four minutes added on.

England doing a decent job of ticking away the seconds here. Gallagher wins a cheap free-kick, and this one is certainly not being taken quickly.

Walker pretending to weigh up every possible option.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:48 , Matt Verri

88 mins: Foden wins a free-kick... and then takes it quickly and loses it. Terrible decision.

Serbia come again, England camped back in their own box. Milinkovic-Savic lines up a shot from distance, sliced high and wide.

More of that.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:46 , Matt Verri

86 mins: Here is the final England change of the night.

Bellingham taking his sweet time getting off, picking an argument with every Serbian player he can find on his way off.

Mainoo on for the closing stages.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:43 , Matt Verri

83 mins: Dear me, the shot comes in and it’s headed away by Kane of all people, back pretty much on his own line! Pickford was at full stretch behind him.

England then win a cheap free-kick, Kane punching the air in celebration.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:42 , Matt Verri

82 mins: Sharp from Vlahovic on the edge of the area, left-footed strike and Pickford has to be alert to tip it over for a corner.

This is going to be a very, very nearly ten minutes.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:40 , Matt Verri

80 mins: Trippier has gone down off the ball. England could really do without more problems at left-back.

He’s stretching out his right leg, getting treatment on the far side. Imagine England won’t be keen to rush Shaw back into action.

Trippier to continue.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:37 , Matt Verri

77 mins: OFF THE BAR!

Stunning save. Bowen’s first involvement, skips past his man and stands up a cross to the back post.

Kane throws himself at it, powers the header at goal, Rajkovic does superbly to tip it onto the woodwork.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

21:36 , Matt Verri

We were talking this morning about whether Jarrod Bowen might be one of those players - and there will inevitably be some - who didn't play a minute in this tournament.

No, he’s coming on here.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:35 , Matt Verri

76 mins: Tadic booked, as he hacks down Foden.

Another change from Southgate, Bowen on for Saka on that right wing.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:33 , Matt Verri

74 mins: Probably England’s best spell of possession since half-time, though that’s not saying much. It’s much-needed.

Whistle goes now, though. Bellingham penalised as he looks to shield the ball. Tadic did very well to sell that.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:31 , Matt Verri

72 mins: Saka whips a ball to the back post, Rice is free and he looks to nod it back into the middle.

Takes a deflection, rolls into the arms of Rajkovic.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

21:30 , Matt Verri

This feels very tense now.

Conor Gallagher's introduction is an indication from Gareth Southgate that things need tightening up in midfield, in particular - and perhaps a hint that he still does not trust Alexander-Arnold in there when England are under the cosh.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:29 , Matt Verri

69 mins: First England change of the night.

Gallagher on in midfield, Alexander-Arnold the man to make way. England need some control, something to slow this Serbia charge.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:27 , Matt Verri

67 mins: Much better from England. Kane holds it up, lays the ball off to Alexander-Arnold and he wins a corner as he drives into the area.

He’ll take this, too close to the goalkeeper though and it’s punched away.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:25 , Matt Verri

65 mins: Feels like something is coming for Serbia.

Tadic picks the ball up just outside the area, slides the ball through to Jovic... can’t quite take it in his path. He was very nearly in.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:24 , Matt Verri

64 mins: Milinkovic-Savic with a lovely flick, and then an equally good cross to the back post.

England just about scramble it away, but they are under real pressure. All 11 players within 30 yards of their own goal.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

21:21 , Matt Verri

It'll be interesting to see what Gareth Southgate does here, with Serbia on top.

I'm looking down at Eberechi Eze, Anthony Gordon, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen warming up.

All players who've had excellent seasons, in great form - but not quite the headline names he's been able to turn to in previous tournaments.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:20 , Matt Verri

61 mins: And that’ll do it for Mitrovic tonight. Interesting decision, Jovic on to replace him.

Tadic also on, taking the captain’s armband. Lukic also withdrawn.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:19 , Matt Verri

59 mins: Chaos in the England box, Mitrovic rolling around in ‘pain’. Case slightly weakened by the fact he appealed for a penalty for five seconds first.

He’s now up on his feet and still complaining to the referee, who still doesn’t care.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:16 , Matt Verri

57 mins: England are starting to get going again.

Alexander-Arnold free on the right, picks out Bellingham in the box. He tries to shift inside onto his left foot, but the door is slammed shut.

More like it.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:16 , Matt Verri

56 mins: Can’t be long until Southgate turns to his bench, to try and shift the momentum.

Here is the first England attack of the half, Alexander-Arnold smacks an effort at goal from 30 yards out. Parried away.

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

21:13 , Matt Verri

Serbia look determined to be more physical and impose themselves on England more this half.

They have started with impressive intensity and created a couple of decent openings.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:12 , Matt Verri

53 mins: England are looking rattled. Very rattled.

Low ball across the face of goal, Milinkovic-Savic can’t quite get a touch in midfield. Mitrovic tries to flick it back into the six-yard box, through to Pickford.

And breathe.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:11 , Matt Verri

51 mins: Serbia are winning most of the physical battles now - England struggling to get out of their own half.

This has turned into a real fight, the Serbian fans in the crowd know it too. England need to improve.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:09 , Matt Verri

49 mins: Been a bit ragged from both sides since the break.

Plenty of turnovers, loose passes whenever space seems to be there to attack. Dare say that wasn’t the message from either manager.

Serbia 0-1 England

21:07 , Matt Verri

47 mins: It’s Serbia with the ball in the opening couple of minutes of the half.

England win it back though and Kane has had a touch - that’s already pretty much equalled his first-half efforts.

Passes it straight into the referee. It’s something at least.

Back underway!

21:04 , Matt Verri

Up and running for the second-half!

England nearly made to pay...

20:59 , Matt Verri

Serbia didn’t have a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, but there were a couple of warning shots.

This was the main one - don’t want to be gifting Aleksandar Mitrovic chances like that.

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

20:56 , Matt Verri

Remarkably, one (I think) touch for Harry Kane that half.

In different circumstances, the England captain would've dropped deep in search of some time on the ball but with Bellingham and Alexander-Arnold behind him, he doesn't need to.

It looks like he's going to be more of a traditional No.9 for England this Euros.

Watch: Jude Bellingham heads England in front

20:54 , Matt Verri

Great ball in, perfect run and a brave header.

Bukayo Saka with the assist, Jude Bellingham the goal. England took an early lead and it was thoroughly deserved.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:51 , Matt Verri

England played well for half-an-hour there and had Kyle Walker put that chance away this game might be dead.

But Serbia have grown at the back end of the half and if they come out and play with the same belief, this could yet get hairy for England.

HT: Serbia 0-1 England

20:49 , Matt Verri

And that is half-time.

England lead through that early Jude Bellingham header, after they made a brilliant start.

Have dropped off a bit since, but Serbia haven’t had anything in the way of clear-cut chances.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Serbia 0-1 England

20:48 , Matt Verri

45+2 mins: Great ball across the face of the England goal, Stones shanks his clearance but it does the job. Bobbles out for a corner, will be the final action of the half.

Dangerous moment for England - but it’s a useless ball in. Hacked away.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:46 , Matt Verri

45 mins: Two minutes added on.

England will be happy enough for half-time to come, you’d think. Haven’t really done anything in the last 20 minutes or so.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:44 , Matt Verri

43 mins: Back underway, but looks like Serbia are going to be forced into a change.

Kostic is trudging around the pitch, his night is over. Mladenovic is on to replace him, up against Saka. Sure he’ll thrilled.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:42 , Matt Verri

41 mins: England fans making the noise again, trying to get the team going. It’s been a bit of a lull in the match.

Kostic has gone down off the ball, he’ll need some treatment. Chance for Southgate to pass on some instructions with a few minutes to go until half-time.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:40 , Matt Verri

39 mins: Bellingham clattered twice in the space of ten seconds.

He shrugs off the first one, gets back up, drives forward... and is swiftly met by Gudelj.

The midfielder stays down, hoping the referee might forget to book him. He does not. Yellow card.

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

20:38 , Matt Verri

It's been an outstanding start by Marc Guehi.

He is reading everything so well and stepping out of defence to snuff out the first hint of a threat from Serbia.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:37 , Matt Verri

36 mins: Serbia enjoying their best spell of the match.

They’ve kept the ball for a couple of minutes, England happy enough to sit back in their shape for now.

Serbia do now work it forward, Vlahovic looks to turn but Bellingham has tracked back and robs him.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:36 , Matt Verri

We've seen why Bukayo Saka is just so hard to stop a few times now.

Everyone talks about that cut inside onto his left foot, which we know is so lethal, but when defenders over-compensate he's so good at getting to the byline and getting a cross in.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:35 , Matt Verri

34 mins: Serbia don’t really look like doing anything... until they whip a ball in. And then you are fearing the worst in that England box.

For now Stones and Guehi are standing up to the task, but Mitrovic is a constant threat.

England unable to counter, as they try and find Kane. He hasn’t had a kick yet.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:33 , Matt Verri

32 mins: Saka has been so, so good on that right wing. He’s the one keeping his width and he’s backing himself one-on-one.

Pavlovic seems to have shoved him over, but the referee waves away the appeals.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:31 , Matt Verri

30 mins: Alexander-Arnold and Trippier both want this. Foden standing there - don’t think he’s being let anywhere near it.

It’s Alexander-Arnold, straight into the wall. That will be Trippier taking the next one, then.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:30 , Matt Verri

That England right is frightening when even the smallest bit of space opens up.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:30 , Matt Verri

28 mins: Saka bundles his way into the box, ball bouncing awkwardly and that doesn’t help his wish to get a shot away.

Comes to Alexander-Arnold, brilliant footwork and he wins a free-kick. 25 yards out. Great position.


Serbia 0-1 England

20:26 , Matt Verri

25 mins: BIG CHANCE!

England win it back and they are away down the right.

Saka slides in Walker on the overlap, driving into the box. Should just shoot, in the end it’s something in between a shot and a cut-back as he gets a shove.

Rolls beyond the far post.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:25 , Matt Verri

24 mins: Bellingham gives Kostic a shove, you will not be stunned to hear there is a response from the wing-back.

Referee swiftly on the scene, as Bellingham strolls away. Fair to say he’s enjoyed these first 24 minutes.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:23 , Matt Verri

22 mins: Saka dragged to the floor, another free-kick for England.

Lovely ball clipped to the back post, falls nicely for Rice but he’s not expecting it. Turned his back as it hits him and bobbles wide.

Would have been a big chance had he... been facing the right way.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:21 , Matt Verri

20 mins: And out of nothing, Serbia are almost level.

Alexander-Arnold in midfield, poor touch and he loses it just outside his own area.

Falls for Mitrovic, gets the shot away and it flies just wide. That’s England’s warning.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:20 , Matt Verri

18 mins: Alexander-Arnold urged to shoot... Alexander-Arnold does shoot. Just outside the area, dragged wide of the far post.

Bellingham has stayed down after a clash with Vlahovic, the striker just threw a bit of an elbow. Not sure that was accidental.

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

20:17 , Matt Verri

There were understandable doubts about Bellingham's sharpness after missing most of England's build-up following an extended break to recover from Champions League Final.

But he has been England's sharpest player and showed a killer instinct to burst into the box and head home bravely.

Serbia 0-1 England

20:16 , Matt Verri

15 mins: Now England really can settle into this match, no need to force anything.

Serbia sat deep, at some point they’re going to have to change that but there’s no shift for now. England completely dominant.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:16 , Matt Verri

It's a brilliant England goal at the end of what has been a probing, patient start.

They've moved the ball well and when the first chance opens up to get in behind they exploit it brilliantly. Hey Jude rings around the stadium.

GOAL! Serbia 0-1 England | Jude Bellingham 13'

20:14 , Matt Verri


One chance, one goal... and it’s Bellingham!

Saka played in down the right, he does superbly to dig out a cross under pressure, and it’s a perfect run from Bellingham. Arrives in the middle and heads home.

Serbia 0-0 England

20:12 , Matt Verri

10 mins: Rice in a huge amount of space at the back post as the ball is clipped into the back post.

Might be explained by Stones rugby tackling Mitrovic to the floor. Whistle goes, unsurprisingly.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:11 , Matt Verri

Lots has been made of how much England might miss Harry Maguire defensively but he's also been very good at advancing the ball.

Marc Guéhi needs to do that two and he's played a couple of excellent passes through the lines to Jude Bellingham already.

Serbia 0-0 England

20:09 , Matt Verri

8 mins: Serbia appeal for a throw-in, Saka tries to take it quickly and make the referee’s decision for him, but it’s given the other way.

Arsenal star considers moaning, but the smile swiftly appears. Sort of gives the game away.

Serbia 0-0 England

20:06 , Matt Verri

5 mins: England look really sharp in the early stages.

Bellingham drifting in off the left, fires a ball into the area where Foden has found a bit of space. Can’t take it in his path.

The Man City man gets a shot away 30 seconds later, but the offside flag is up. Serbia get a chance to slow things down.

Serbia 0-0 England

20:05 , Matt Verri

4 mins: Early free-kick for England, chance for Alexander-Arnold to whip something in.

Not his best delivery, Serbia head it clear. If there’s one thing that Serbian defence should be good at, it’s balls into the box. Giants everywhere you look.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

20:04 , Matt Verri

We're 90 seconds in and you can already see the licence Phil Foden has. He's closer to the right-wing than the left.

There's going to be big onus on Kieran Trippier to keep the width out on this side but the potential for overloads elsewhere if Foden and Bellingham are going to pop up all over the place.

Serbia 0-0 England

20:03 , Matt Verri

2 mins: Alexander-Arnold drifting right out to the right wing early on, familiar surroundings for him. Looks to be a fairly free role for him.

England straight on the front foot, knocking the ball around confidently early on. Foden, like Alexander-Arnold, basically moving wherever he wants.


20:01 , Matt Verri

We’re up and running!

20:00 , Matt Verri

Doesn’t take much to pump Jordan Pickford up and he’s already engaging with the fans. Loving life.

Anthems done, handshakes done, booing done for now.

It’s time. Settle in.

19:57 , Matt Verri

Serbian fans making a fair old noise as they try and drown out God Save The King with some boos - England supporters respond with even more.

And now the boos are on the other foot... or in the other mouth. Or something like that.

Here we go!

19:54 , Matt Verri

Teams are in the tunnel in Gelsenkirchen!

England the clear favourites tonight, but Serbia do have the quality up front to cause problems.

Very tall team too - England could well miss Harry Maguire from set-pieces. Let’s not focus on the negatives though. At least not yet.

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

19:50 , Matt Verri

There've been lots of reports of chaos on local transport getting out of Gelsenkirchen and with 15 minutes to go there are a lot of empty seats in the England end in particular.

Still making a great noise.

Not long now...

19:47 , Matt Verri

Kick-off just 15 minutes away!

England have had to wait a couple of days to get their tournament up and running, but now they get the chance to make a statement.

Judging by that lineup, we can expect goals. And not just at one end...

Tactical versatility from Southgate

19:41 , Matt Verri

To give Gareth Southgate his dues, at no stage of his tenure has he ever left either side of the lobby short on ammunition, writes Malik Ouzia.

To the doubters, this is a manager not quite astute enough to get over the line in the most important games; to those fully signed up, the man who has won more knockout matches than a dozen predecessors combined.

To the nays, the ball and chain keeping England's frightening attacking talent shackled; to the yays, at last, a manager shrewd enough to realise blood and thunder is seldom how international tournaments are won.

Slow to get the best from Phil Foden; swift to do so with teenage versions of Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka. Too loyal, for too long, to Harry Maguire; now you can see why.

And, now Trent Alexander-Arnold gets the nod to start in midfield tonight, good old Gareth has done it again.

Click here for more on that!

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

19:37 , Matt Verri

Funny moment here in the stadium.

Having just run through the Serbian team, the PA starts another announcement and their fans burst into a deafening chorus of boos and whistles expecting the equivalent.

Instead, Novak Djokovic's face pops up with a good luck message and for a moment the Serbian end is jeering the nation's greatest sportsman.

Things quickly turn a little more cheery.

Pre-match thoughts from the England boss!

19:33 , Matt Verri

Gareth Southgate has been speaking ahead of kick-off.

He’s expecting a tricky night in trying to break Serbia’s back-five down...

Dan Kilpatrick at Arena AufSchalke

19:29 , Matt Verri

There's already a huge number of Serbia fans in the Veltins Arena, and they give their players a raucous reception as they come out to warm-up.

The England end is looking a lot more sparse at the moment, amid reports of travel chaos in and around Gelsenkirchen.

England should have no problems creating chances tonight but there are more concerns about the other end.

Marc Guehi makes his first major tournament appearance while Kieran Trippier is a square peg at left-back. Serbia's two best-known players are front two Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Southgate attempts to take final step

19:25 , Matt Verri

Gareth Southgate reached 150 games with England in March's friendly against Belgium — 57 as a player and 93 as manager — and, as it stands, his legacy with the national team will be defined by two defeats on penalties in the European Championship.

Easily the most frequent line of questioning to Southgate during his nearly eight years in charge has been about his decisive miss against Germany in the semi-final of Euro ‘96, which long threatened to haunt the rest of his career.

Southgate has, to his credit, gone some way to exorcise the ghost of that night at Wembley, ending their grim record at shootouts during the 2018 World Cup before leading England to a knockout win over the Germans at the same venue in Euro 2020.

As he prepares for his fourth major tournament in charge, however, Southgate is now working to banish the memory of his side's loss to Italy three years ago.

"It's different, because in '96 it was a personal pain, but in 2021 I felt like I had a responsibility for the whole country," Southgate explained this week, when asked which defeat was more painful.

Read more on that here!

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Malik Ouzia at Arena AufSchalke

19:21 , Matt Verri

Easy to forgot what a horrendously difficult job England often made of starting tournaments before Gareth Southgate took over.

He's three from three in opening group matches and each of those wins has been more convincing than the one before.

Go four out of four and England will have a foot in the knockout stages before the opening weekend of this one is done.

Declan Rice's pre-match thoughts

19:20 , Matt Verri

"Pure excitement,” the midfielder says of his emotions ahead of kick-off.

"You see us walking in and the atmosphere inside the stadium it is hard to stay calm and channel your emotions because it's such a big game.

"Preparation has been amazing and there is only one thing on the mind tonight and that is to win."

In the building!

19:13 , Matt Verri

The Three Lions have arrived at the Arena AufSchalke.

Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands have all picked up opening wins at Euro 2024 - England need to follow their lead.

Expectation is high...

Tadic on the bench

19:09 , Matt Verri

Bit of a surprise in that Serbia lineup, with Dusan Tadic named among the substitutes.

It’s otherwise largely as expected, with that front two offering the threat. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic will really test Marc Guehi and John Stones tonight.

Serbia team news

19:04 , Matt Verri

Starting XI: Rajkovic, Milenkovic, Veljkovic, Pavlovic, Zivkovic, Milinkovic-Savic, Lukic, Gudelj, Kostic, Mitrovic, Vlahovic.

Subs: Stojic, Maksimovic, Jovic, Tadic, Petrovic, Babic, Mijailovic, Ilic, Ratkov, Samardzic, Gacinovic, Milinkovic-Savic, Spajic, Mladenovic, Birmancevic

As expected from Southgate!

19:01 , Matt Verri

Trent Alexander-Arnold does indeed start in midfield, partnering Declan Rice as Gareth Southgate has suggested he would.

John Stones is fit to start, while that front four is as expected - Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Harry Kane. Not too shabby.

Luke Shaw has made really swift progress in his recovery from injury, and is named on the bench.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England team news

18:58 , Matt Verri

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier; Alexander-Arnold, Rice; Saka, Bellingham, Foden; Kane

Subs: Ramsdale, Henderson, Shaw, Konsa, Dunk, Gallagher, Toney, Gordon, Watkins, Bowen, Eze, Gomez, Palmer, Wharton, Mainoo

Elsewhere in Group C...

18:53 , Matt Verri

We have had our first draw of Euro 2024.

Slovenia came from behind to earn a point against Denmark, that match has finished 1-1.

Victory for England tonight and they will be in control of Group C already.


Kane: I have a different aura since joining Bayern

18:47 , Matt Verri

If he leads England to glory at the Euros this summer, Harry Kane could be a contender for the Ballon d’Or.

He believes he is more "respected" as an elite centre-forward since joining Bayern from Tottenham last summer, even if he does not feel especially different.

"From an outside point of view, I'm probably respected more as one of the top strikers in the world," Kane said.

"When you're at a club like Bayern Munich, that comes if you have a great season – similar to Real Madrid, Barcelona and all the top, top clubs around the world. So from that point of view, maybe I have a different kind of aura.

"But personally, nothing's really changed in how I prepare, how I go into games, my confidence is still the same as what it was throughout my whole career.

"So maybe from a media point of view or an outside point of view, you get looked at in a different light. Which is good for me, because it raises my profile and helps me to really compete to be one of the best players in the world. So that's probably the biggest difference I've found.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Why Southgate is rolling the dice

18:38 , Matt Verri

Gareth Southgate threw his future into sharp focus on the eve of Euro 2024 by admitting he will probably step down as England manager if they do not win the tournament.

“I’ve been here almost eight years now and we’ve come close,” Southgate told German publication Bild. “You can’t constantly put yourself in front of the public and say, ‘A little more please,’ as at some point people lose faith.”

Southgate has always been conscious of outstaying his welcome as England boss and he is more swayed by supporter sentiment than the view of his Football Association paymasters, who would like the 53-year-old to extend his contract beyond December, whatever happens at the Euros.

The Euros will be his fourth major finals and he appears to sense that his time in charge of England is drawing to a natural conclusion.

Southgate’s decisions in the build-up to the Euro point to a manager with little left to lose.

Click here for Dan Kilpatrick’s full piece!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pickford responds to defensive concerns

18:30 , Matt Verri

Jordan Pickford says there is an onus on every player to help England rediscover their defensive steel at this summer’s European Championship - and not just a much scrutinised backline.

England conceded only two goals in the entirety of their last Euros campaign three years ago - and none until the semi-final stage - while at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar they kept clean sheets in three of their first four matches before coming unstuck against France.

More recently, though, a once reliable backline has become a weak point and the only clean sheets Gareth Southgate’s side have registered in their last ten matches have come against Malta, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Australia.

“We’ve played some top opponents but clean sheets are key in tournaments,” Pickford said. “To get to a final and win a tournament, you have to have a good clean sheet record - or as the ‘keeper coach says, zeroes and ones get you so far.

“For us it’s about getting as many clean sheets as we can because everyone in the room knows the ability we’ve got up-front.”

He added: “You say defence, it starts from the centre-forward all the way back. I would say that is the key factor, working as a unit, instead of talking about the back four and the keeper.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Shaw closing in on return

18:22 , Matt Verri

Luke Shaw has handed England boss Gareth Southgate a major boost by racing ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury - and could even feature against Serbia.

Shaw has not played in four months because of the problem and when Southgate named his provisional 33-man squad last month he rated the Manchester United defender as a “long shot” to make the tournament.

Even after making sufficient progress to be included in the final 26, the expectation from England’s medical staff was that Shaw would not be fit until next week’s second group stage game against Denmark at the earliest.

However, the 28-year-old has stepped up his rehabilitation in training this week and, speaking on the eve of the game in Gelsenkirchen, Southgate revealed he could yet be included in the matchday squad tonight.

“Everyone’s available,” Southgate said on Saturday. “We have a decision on whether Luke is a possible to use from the bench or not, but everyone has trained today and is available.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England must be wary of Mitrovic

18:16 , Matt Verri

When clubs in Saudi Arabia spent more than £700million on signings last summer, few predicted Aleksandar Mitrovic would be the pick of the bunch.

Karim Benzema, Neymar and Riyad Mahrez were tipped to be stars, but Mitrovic has outshone them all by scoring 40 goals in a brilliant season.

The Serbia striker has taken the Saudi Pro League by storm after leaving Fulham for Al-Hilal and will be the biggest threat to England in Gelsenkirchen tonight.

Those who have watched him up close in Saudi believe the 29-year-old is as dangerous as ever.

Read our full preview here!


How far will England get?

18:03 , Matt Verri

Dan Kilpatrick: Semi-finals. For England to win it, so much has to come together for Gareth Southgate. They'll need Marc Guehi to have a breakout tournament at centre-half, Trent Alexander-Arnold to grow into a top-class midfielder and a new-look attack to click.

Malik Ouzia: Semi-finals. I’d love to be proven wrong, but given the defensive injuries and midfield uncertainty, is this a better team than the one that lost to France in Qatar? They’re on collision course again in the last four…

Simon Collings: Semi-finals. The defence could prove their undoing.

Nick Purewal: Semi-finals. Shortcomings in central defence and at the base of midfield could hurt Southgate’s men.

Dom Smith: As far as France get… before losing to them again.

Read our full predictions here!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Southgate backs 'special' Alexander-Arnold

17:55 , Matt Verri

Gareth Southgate dropped a big hint that he is ready to start Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield, insisting: ‘It’s worth it - he could be incredibly special’.

Southgate has long been toying with the idea of using Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder.

He has trialled the ploy on a number of occasions over the last year but crucially missed out on the chance to do so against top opposition when the 25-year-old missed March’s friendlies against Belgium and Brazil through injury.

Dormer England striker Wayne Rooney was critical of the idea this week, claiming Alexander-Arnold “can’t defend” and insisting: “I wouldn’t have him anywhere near the middle of the pitch.”

“Everybody’s more than entitled to opinions,” Southgate said of Rooney’s comments. “That’s our world, we have to accept that. Then we have to go and show what we can do. “

While Southgate did not confirm whether the Liverpool man will get the nod, he believes any risk over Alexander-Arnold’s selection would be worth taking.

“We know he can be a really special player and equally we know it’s not something he’s been doing for the last five years,” Southgate added.

“So, there is an element of the unknown to it but I think it’s an opportunity worth grasping because he could be something incredibly special.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Stage is set!

17:47 , Matt Verri

All is currently quiet at the Arena AufSchalke.

That will very much not be the case in about two hours...

Southgate reveals England leadership group

17:40 , Matt Verri

Gareth Southgate has named Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice in England's new four-man “leadership group” for Euro 2024.

Bellingham, 20, and Arsenal's Rice join captain Harry Kane and Kyle Walker in the quartet, which the manager will lean on for advice during the tournament.

Southgate's five-man leadership group at the Qatar World Cup 18 months ago was made up of Kane, Walker, Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kieran Trippier - effectively the elder statesmen of the squad - but the manager suggested Rice and Bellingham have been included to act as a conduit between himself and younger members of the squad.

Southgate has taken a youthful and inexperienced 26-man group to Germany, with 12 players at their first major tournament.

"We have a very open relationship with all of the players," Southgate said ahead of England's opening group game against Serbia here in Gelsenkirchen.

"We have actually put a small leadership group together for this tournament now with Harry [Kane], Kyle Walker, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham because there's a different dynamic to this group.

"There's a lot of younger players and I want to make sure that the voices of the younger players I am in touch with that as well.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Click here to read the full blog on The Evening Standard's website