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England vs Serbia: What to expect from England's first match

Euro 2024 is upon us, and while the big games will all come in the later rounds of the competition, there are certainly a few intriguing matchups in the first round of fixtures.

Fans will definitely have their eye on Serbia vs England, which takes place two days after the first match between Germany and Scotland
 
While not historically a heavyweight fixture, this meeting between the two nations demands attention due to England being one of the big favourites to win the tournaments.

The fixture will provide an insight into whether England are really ready to write themselves into history, or whether it’s a time-old tale of disappointment.

 

Key details

The game between Serbia and England will be played at 8 pm on Sunday, June 16th. If you’re in the UK, then you can watch the game on BBC One. And if you want to be there in person to watch it? Alas, those tickets are long sold out, so you probably won’t be cheering at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
 
Serbia will have their own Euro 2024 dreams, but you have to imagine that England will have enough in the tank to come out on top.

After all, the Three Lions are favourites to lift the trophy in the Euros betting odds, and that’s thanks to the exceptional array of generational talents Southgate has at his disposal.

Players like Bellingham, Kane, Foden, and Alexander-Arnold are some of the leading players on the planet and will be eager to announce their arrival on the big stage in the first game of the competition.
 
Of course, there’s no such thing as an easy victory in football and Serbia are capable of causing England some problems.

 

Can Serbia pose a threat?

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Just ask Sweden, who were roundly beaten 3 - 0 by Serbia last weekend in their final game before the Euro Championships get underway.

Up front, the Serbians have Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandr Mitrovic, two experienced strikers who will be reasonably confident that they can cause problems for England’s relatively inexperienced defence.

To do so, they’ll need to hope that Dusan Tadic can free himself from the shackles of England’s midfield. If he can get on the ball, then there’s little doubt that Serbia will get a sight or two of goal.
 
The problem, from Serbia’s perspective at least, is that England’s midfield is looking as good as can be at the moment.

If, as expected, Southgate starts with Bellingham, Rice, and Foden in midfield, then Tadic might have to spend the bulk of the game in defensive mode.


England: Setting their intent

England will be quietly confident that they can go far in this tournament. Privately, they may believe that they can win.

With so much expectation on the team, they’ll be desperate to start the tournament with a convincing victory.

Though a strong performance in the first game of a competition doesn’t always hold significance, the team will find it much easier to focus on winning their future games if they don’t have to deal with scrutiny from the British media and public.
 
The team’s final warm-up game, a limp defeat at Wembley to Iceland, did little to inspire confidence that Southgate’s team is ready to dominate a competition.

Still, if you’re going to play poorly, it may as well be in the pre-tournament friendly. For now, we’ll have to wait to see which version of England shows up.

If it’s the one filled with Premier League and Champions League winners, then the rest of Europe should be fearful that the Three Lions are going to end nearly sixty years of hurt by finally winning another major international tournament.
 
After so much hype, we’re just a few days away from finding out.

 

Predicted winner: England

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