Euro 2024: Foden back and Mainoo could be one of England’s changes against Slovakia

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — England plays Slovakia in the round of 16 at the European Championship on Sunday after facing fierce criticism for its performances during the group stage. Still, the runner-up three years ago is unbeaten and on the opposite side of the draw to France, Spain, Germany and Portugal. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) in Gelsenkirchen. Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— England advanced to the knockout phase as group winner and unbeaten in three games, but fans showed their anger at the team’s performance against Slovenia on Tuesday with loud jeers at the end of the match and some threw beer cups toward manager Gareth Southgate.

— This is Southgate’s fourth major tournament as England manager and he has always managed to lead the team to at least the quarterfinals.

— Slovakia is playing in the round of 16 at a Euros for second time as an independent nation, having advanced to this stage in 2016. It has never gone beyond the round of 16.

— Slovakia produced one of the shocks of the tournament by beating Belgium 1-0 in its opening game.

Team news

— Phil Foden is back in the England squad after returning home for the birth of his child. Luke Shaw could make his first appearance at these Euros following a hamstring injury, but Southgate said he would not be available to start. Southgate is reportedly considering starting teenager Kobbie Mainoo in midfield.

— Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona said defender Denis Vavro is available after a longstanding inflammation issue.

By the numbers

— Harry Kane has scored six times in his last six knockout games in international tournaments and hit a record-extending 64th goal for England against Denmark.

— England is unbeaten in six games against Slovakia, winning five and drawing one.

— If they play, Juraj Kucka and Peter Pekarík will make record-extending 11th appearances for Slovakia at the Euros.

What they’re saying

— “The process of the tournament, naturally you get stronger and sharper as you play more games. A lot of us come into our peak in the knockout stage and that’s what we’ve found in previous tournaments.” — England captain Harry Kane.

— “You have to get through that first phase, and now you’re into the world of … it has to happen on the day. You’ve got to go for it. We’ve been here before many times, we know what it entails and we’re very excited about the challenge.” — England manager Gareth Southgate.

— “When England do give great performances as a group, they will be unbeatable. We need to be very careful; they have one of the best squads here, they have physicality, technique. … We need to take advantage of their weak points, but we have to be cautious because they can hurt you at any moment.” — Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona.

— “We remember where we started. When our coach first took the job, we were playing friendly matches in front of 2,000 people in the stadium. And now, after two years of hard work, we’re among the best 16 teams in Europe. So, it’s really wonderful, and we’re happy about it.” — Slovakia captain Milan Skriniar.


James Robson is at


AP Euro 2024:

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