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England play Netherlands
Nation League semi-final
- England have drawn Netherlands in the semi-final of the inaugural Nations League. The game will be played in Guimarães, Portugal on 6th June 2019. Should Englnad prevail they will meet either Portugal or Switzerland on 9th June in Porto.
- Posted: 3rd December 2018 1:48pm
1000th Game at Wembley
Fixtures list reveals Montenegro
- England will play thier 1000th game at Wembley against Montenegro on Thursday 14th November 2019.
- Posted: 3rd December 2018 10:06am
Euro 2020 Qualifying Draw
England's Eastern Experience
- England will be traveling to the old Eastern Bloc for Euro 2020 qualifying having been drawn with Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Kosovo in Group A. Matches will start in March 2019 and will be completed by November 2019.
- Posted: 2nd December 2018 12:09pm
Euro 2020 Update
England could play 5 out of 7 games at Wembley.
- You know how the 2018 World Cup stages opened up kindly for England allowing them the progress to the semi-finals? Well, hold on to your hats. The route to a Euro 2020 final could be even easier.
We will explain...
Securing a Nations League Finals place comes with certain benefits. The first is to be drawn in a Euro 2020 qualifying group of only five teams - the second - a playoff place, if required.
There will be ten groups for Euro 2020 qualifying, five groups of five teams (A to E) and five groups of six teams (F to J). The Nations League finalists, England along with Portugal, Switzerland and Netherlands will take groups A to D. This means they play two fewer games than the six team groups. Those extra games will be in June 2019 and will be the semi-finals and finals of the UEFA Nations League.
The top two teams of each qualifying group go directly to the finals. However, should a team which has won their Nations League group - like England have - fail to come in the top two, then a playoff route is open for them. This involves a semi-final and final, the winner of which will also qualify for Euro 2020. There are four such places available for group winners of Nations Leagues A, B, C & D.
Whichever route England take, should they qualify for the finals we already know their group and fixture dates. This is because Euro 2020 is a special occasion. It is the 60th anniversary of the competition and UEFA have decided that for this one off event there will be no host nation, but rather the competition will be played right across the continent. The winning cities who bid to host games were Munich, Rome, Baku, Bucharest, Saint Petersburg, Dublin, Amsterdam, Bibao, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and London with the latter hosting both semi-finals and final. Each group is allocated to two host cities and if their respective national teams qualify they will play their group matches at home. So we can say for definite that should England qualify they will be in Group D and play their matches at Wembley on 14th, 19th & 23rd June. The only other permutation is if Scotland qualify too. They also will be in Group D and will play their home games at Hampden. There will be a coin-flip between the two teams to decide where the head-to-head game will be played, Wembley or Hampden. A mouth-watering prospect that reminisces of Euro '96.
Progress for England past the group stages will probably take them to Copenhagen or Dublin and beyond to Saint Petersburg or Rome but the real carrot is, should they make it that far, a return to Wembley for the semi-finals and final.
The Euro Gods have certainly been kind to Gareth Southgate and England.
- Posted: 24th November 2018 10:57am
England end year on a high
Another semi-final beckons
- The contrast is stark. Four years ago, England were rock bottom after a disastrous World Cup in which they went home at the group stage after two losses and a meaningless bore draw, slumming it at a 20 year low of 20th in the World Rankings. Euro 2016, was no better, despite a breeze in the qualifying stages, dumped out by first-timers Iceland. And then the Allardyce saga. If there was one consolation during those days, it couldn't get any worse.
Fast forward to 2018 and it's like looking at a different team. That 2018 stats are compelling: 17 matches played, the most since 1966. Also, the most competitive matches (11) played, tied with 1982 and 1993*. Which makes most wins (10) in a year since 1986 and most goals (28) since 1982 stand out even more.
Despite picking up 12 points during November in the official rankings: the best return of any team in the top 30 - England will retain 5th place in the world rankings - making them the highest ranked team for the Nations League finals next summer in Portugal.
Prior to that the draw for Euro 2020 will take place early next month, where England will find themselves in a group of just five teams, a luxury that only Nations League finalists will benefit from. The tantalising prize of qualifying is the very real prospect of playing five of a possible seven Euro 2020 matches at Wembley.
They also know that should they fail to finish in the top two of their qualifying group - a feat which surely should be quite impossible to even try to do - they will have the backstop of a play-off place. Dawdling into a major tournament is never recommended but at least Gareth Southgate knows that the will be absolutely no pressure whatsoever for his team for the next two years. The only fear will be complacency and what we've seen from this manager and his team, that won't be an issue.
Merry Christmas! Mince pie? Glass of port, Gareth? You earned it.
*1993 included the minor tournament United States Cup
- Posted: 20th November 2018 10:08am