• England have qualified for knockout stages of Euro 2024 with a game to spare
  • Spain's win over Albania meant England will at least be a best third-placed side 
  • LISTEN to It's All Kicking Off! Are Harry Kane and Declan Rice right to bite back at Gary Lineker’s criticism? 

England have booked their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2024 before a ball has been kicked in their clash with Slovenia.  

Gareth Southgate's side have struggled to impress so far in Germany, but have already confirmed their spot in the next round after results went their way in Group B on Monday evening. 

As a result of Spain's victory over Albania England will finish as one of the competition's best third-place sides regardless of the result against Slovenia. 

Hungary sit third in Group A on three points, while Italy are now third in Group B on three also, meaning England are sure to finish among the top four third-placed sides on a minimum of four points as things stand.

Of course, the Three Lions can still finish top of the group with a win over Slovenia, and even a draw could still take them to top spot depending on results elsewhere. 

Ferran Torres scored the opening goal inside 13 minutes with a brilliant finish across goal and in off the post to continue Spain's dominant showing. 

La Roja are shaping up to be one of the contenders for the crown after an impressive showing in the unofficial group of death alongside Italy and Croatia. 

The win for Spain will however go some way to alleviating a fraction of the pressure on the Three Lions knowing that whatever happens they will be still in the second phase of the competition. 

England suffered a perceived blow after being held to a 1-1 draw by Denmark on Thursday, Morten Hjulmand's strike from range cancelling out Harry Kane's opener in the first half.  

The Three Lions boss resisted calls to change his team after their unconvincingly 1-0 win over Serbia in their opener . He instead opted to go for the same XI that got their tournament off to the best possible start. 

England will need to avoid defeat in their final group stage match against Slovenia on Tuesday 25 to confirm top spot in the group. 

The game could will not see Luke Shaw return to action for the first time since February. 

Southgate announced at Monday's press conference that the Manchester United left back was still short of fitness, though he had joined up with the squad in training.

'Luke Shaw is the only one that's not really available, he'll possibly train with the team tomorrow but he's not quite ready yet,' Southgate said.

Elsewhere in the second games of Group C, Serbia had grabbed a last-minute equaliser to snatch a draw against Slovenia in Munich, and will take on Denmark in their final game of the phase.

Italy and Hungary both have three points, however the Azzurri have a better goal difference - -3 vs -1 - and as such are in a better place needing only two sides to finish below them.  

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2024-06-24T21:26:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd