Peter Crouch has put the onus on England to win despite leaks of their team and set-up at Euro 2024, which he feels are inevitable on the big stage.

Gareth Southgate was left frustrated when his plans to change formation and switch to a three-man defence were leaked prior to the quarter-final against Switzerland. The stakes will be even higher when the Three Lions face the Netherlands tonight (Wednesday), where the winner will advance to meet Spain in the final.

However, it's Crouch's belief that trying to stop leaks from inside the camp is a futile effort. The former Liverpool and Tottenham attacker took a more laid-back approach on leaks while discussing the subject on That Peter Crouch Podcast, suggesting there are too many moving parts around the squad to halt them altogether.

"It's happened since the start of time," said the ex-England striker, who scored 22 goals in 42 outings for his country. "It will always come out. You've got to remember how many people from the press, how many TV outlets, how many newspapers and radio people there are around the camp every single day.

"Y'know, agents, families - unfortunately it will [get out]. I don't see how that changes unless Gareth keeps the players guessing. Because they are [gonna tell]."

Crouch, 43, was in and around the England squad for five years but had stiff competition up front and spent much of his international career as a back-up. However, he effectively confessed he would routinely leak team news himself to those close to him.

"If I'm not starting on the weekend, I'm gonna tell me dad, 'I'm not playing.' Or 'I am playing, get ready for this,' y'know? You can't help it. Then my dad tells his best mate, and things happen."

The Three Lions will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their quarter-final chaos ahead of tonight's clash in Dortmund. Southgate's side overcame that setback to beat Switzerland on penalties in the last round, but they'd prefer the Netherlands to know as little about their plans as possible.

Asked by host Chris Stark about the prospect of keeping detailed plans from the squad, Crouch added: "Rafa [Benitez] used to do that all the time. We wouldn't have a clue what the team would be sometimes until it was announced on the Saturday. You'd play a certain shape, but the personnel you wouldn't know."

It has already been made clear what Southgate plans to do tonight, with the previously suspended Marc Guehi expected to come back into the defence to replace Ezri Konsa, who filled his spot against Switzerland. Luke Shaw made his first appearance of the tournament from off the bench last time out, but he is unlikely to start ahead of Kieran Trippier on the left of defence, having been out with a hamstring injury since February.

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2024-07-10T10:40:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd