Euro 2024 hosts Germany got off to a flying start as they comprehensively dispatched Scotland 5-1 on Friday.

Goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz and Niclas Fullkrug blew Scotland away at the Allianz Arena.

But while the football entertained, there was also plenty of action on social media.

Here's a pick of the best posts.

The special... two?

Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson enjoyed a great rivalry on the touchline down the years, but there was no sign of that as the two watched on from the stands in Munich.

Unfortunately for Ferguson, Scotland were on the receiving end of a hammering.

We can only wonder what these two greats had to say about Scotland's sorry performance, though surely they will have been full of praise for Germany.

Honouring a great

Franz Beckenbauer passed away in January, and ahead of the opening game, his wife Heidi led a touching tribute to der Kaiser.

Moral support

Nathan Patterson is not fit to feature for Scotland, but the Everton full-back has travelled out to Germany to support his team-mates.

Unfortunately for Scotland, it didn't quite work out, and Patterson will be needing to provide plenty of moral support after their heavy defeat in Munich.

Pickford gets quizzed

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was fulfilling his media duties on Friday, and he stopped by to answer some fan questions ahead of the Three Lions' opener against Serbia.

Pickford was quizzed on how he copes with the pressure as kick-off approaches - "Enjoy the moment", he said - while revealing former England shot-stopper Joe Hart, who retired last month, has served as an inspiration.

Young guns exciting Schweinsteiger 

Bastian Schweinsteiger helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014, so it feels like he is pretty well placed to pass judgement on up and coming stars.

And when asked on X for the players he was most excited to see in action at Euro 2024, the former Bayern Munich midfielder picked out Florian Wirtz, Cole Palmer and Rafael Leao.

Wirtz certainly delivered, as he starred in Germany's big win over Scotland. Will Palmer and Leao be equally as impressive for England and Portugal respectively?

Picture perfect

Olivier Giroud is one handsome devil, so it's no surprise that he's a photographer's dream.

That being said, it's rare that the person behind the camera is one of his team-mates, but Giroud could only smile, and offer a cheeky pose, as Benjamin Pavard sneakily grabbed a camera and tried to get the perfect shot while the France number nine was holding a press conference.

Jordan Pickford has urged England to embrace the pressure of being one of the favourites to win Euro 2024.

England made it to the final of Euro 2020, ultimately losing on penalties to Italy, as well as reaching the semi-finals and quarter-finals of the last two World Cups under Gareth Southgate.

According to the Opta supercomputer, England are the slight favourites going into Euro 2024, with a 19.9 per cent chance of lifting the trophy for the first time, narrowly ahead of France (19.1 per cent).

Pickford has faith that the squad, despite being quite young, will be able to cope with the expectations placed on them due to the favourites tag.

"Apart from Russia in 2018 [World Cup], where there was no pressure on us, to be a top, elite team you have got to have pressure," Pickford said. "You have got to deal with it. To be one of the favourites, you have got to enjoy that pressure.

"I think we've got the right balance [between experience and youth]. With experience, we can help the younger lads who haven't had as many caps, but everyone has different experiences through their own football careers.

"Some of the lads who are newer have been to major tournaments at younger levels and you have got to go away from home for a while. Everyone has been through those experiences.

"The senior lads, we have got to help those younger lads if needs be, but they are top players, they don't need much help."

The goalkeeper has also shrugged off worries that the defensive changes in England's squad will affect their chances at the tournament.

Harry Maguire, a mainstay in previous tournaments under Southgate, had to withdraw from the preliminary squad due to a calf injury he sustained in April.

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw will not be fit to start the Euros, and John Stones missed training on Wednesday due to illness, though he returned on Thursday.

Despite an unsettled look to England's back four, Pickford is confident whoever starts in front of him against Serbia will be prepared for the challenge.

Pickford said: "It doesn't affect us. [There's] lot of lads I've played with anyway. Anyone who's in the England squad is there for what they have done for their club.

"It's easy [playing with younger defenders]. They're there because of talent.

"When they're talented, I can help them, guide them, because I can see the full pitch and just my communication is hopefully a key to help them. That's what I think I'm good at. They know what they're doing in front of me.

"Everyone is fighting for a spot. Whoever plays, we are always ready and prepared. That's what the manager and the staff do. They get us ready and prepared for whoever it is."

England's Euro 2024 campaign begins against Serbia on Sunday, with Denmark and Slovenia following in Group C. 

Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes were dealt a potentially fatal blow as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to city rivals Everton in an exhilarating Merseyside derby.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's header made sure of the Toffees’ victory – their first in a derby at Goodison Park since 2010 – after Jarrad Branthwaite had poked them ahead.

Luis Diaz came closest to launching a Liverpool comeback, but struck the post, leaving Jurgen Klopp's side with just one win from their last four top-flight outings.

Defeat leaves the Reds three points behind league-leaders Arsenal with four games left, with third-place Manchester City yet to play, while Everton moved eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Everton dominated the early stages and thought they had the chance to take the lead from the spot after just six minutes. Alisson felled Calvert-Lewin in a one-on-one, but the striker was offside in the build-up, and the penalty was overturned after a VAR review.

The Toffees looked particularly dangerous from free-kicks, and Liverpool were given a warning when Calvert-Lewin’s thumping header was parried by Alisson.

Liverpool were left to rue their slack defending in the 26th minute as it pinballed around their box, with Branthwaite’s low shot eventually beating Alisson and spinning over the line off the inside of the post.

Jordan Pickford made three big saves to keep Everton in front at the break, denying Darwin Nunez, Diaz, and Andy Robertson as Liverpool rallied.

While the Reds made a bright start to the second half, they could not take their chances, and Calvert-Lewin punished them from a corner as he rose unmarked at the back post to thump a towering header into the bottom-left corner for his third goal in four games.

Liverpool’s best chance fell to Diaz in the 69th minute as he finally unlocked Everton’s defence, but a brilliant curler struck the right-hand post – the 22nd time Liverpool have hit the woodwork in the league this season.

Mohamed Salah also squandered a late chance, blazing over the bar from close range to sum up a wasteful night for the Reds as Everton held on for a potentially pivotal result at both ends of the table.

Dyche’s defence rallies

Each of Everton's last seven victories in the Premier League have been to nil, an impressive feat as they have failing to win any of their last 12 when conceding at least once (D4 L8).

They had to dig deep to get another vital three points in the relegation battle, keeping Liverpool at bay with impressive blocks from the brilliant Branthwaite, James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey, as well as excellent saves from Pickford, who was on form to deny Harvey Elliott and Salah in the dying embers.

This win also ended a run of 12 without a victory against Liverpool in the Premier League at home, which was their longest such run against any other opponent in their league history.

Nine days ago, Everton were thrashed 6-0 by Chelsea. Now, after just their second derby win in over 13 years, they are within touching distance of safety.

Title hopes extinguished?

For the 22nd time in all competitions this season, Liverpool were punished for a slow start as they conceded the opening goal.

Jurgen Klopp, on his farewell tour, was aiming to become the first Reds manager to win 10 Premier League Merseyside derbies but instead suffered just his second loss against the Toffees (W9 D6).

It was just Liverpool’s second defeat in their last 27 games against Everton (W12 D13), and with Man City having two games in hand, it could have just ended their title challenge.

Cole Palmer is grateful for the opportunity Chelsea gave him to join the club after he celebrated successive home hat-tricks when he scored four times in the Blues’ 6-0 win over Everton.

The Manchester City academy graduate, who joined the Blues last summer, scored a spectacular individual goal to open the scoring.

Palmer scored a header and added a third when he capitalised on a Jordan Pickford error before converting a penalty in the second half. Nicolas Jackson and Alfie Gilchrist also got on the scoresheet as the Toffees came completely unstuck.

It was Palmer’s second home triple in a row, following his three goals against Manchester United earlier this month.

Palmer told Chelsea’s official website: “To make the decision to come to Chelsea was a big one for me and my family, but I just wanted to play football. I’m thankful to Chelsea for the opportunity and I’m buzzing.

“We started well and to score a hat-trick, I’m buzzing. I think the team needed that after last Sunday and some previous games. We did well tonight. It was a great game for the team and me.”

Palmer showed wonderful skill for his first goal after he jinked past Jarrad Branthwaite, receiving a flick-on from Jackson before he produced a first-time curled effort from outside the box into the bottom left-hand corner.

The 21-year-old added: “I think my first one was my favourite.

“My right-footed goal was a bit of a swinger, but my first one was probably my favourite. As an attacker, you always want to help the team with goals and assists, but my main focus was playing well and trying to get into the positions to score goals.”

Manager Mauricio Pochettino heaped praise on Palmer, who is now joint top in the Premier League’s Golden Boot race with Erling Haaland on 20 goals each.

He said: “I don’t judge the player when we sign (them) but I expected the best. It doesn’t surprise us, he’s a player who has had the capacity to score goals when he was playing at Manchester City. He has the capacity to score easily.

“The way he’s adapted, playing and performing is fantastic. He behaves like a top scorer and I think it’s amazing for the team and him.”

Seamus Coleman’s stoppage-time own goal condemned Everton to a bruising 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth as they equalled their worst Premier League run of 12 games without a win.

Beto’s 87th-minute equaliser to cancel out Dominic Solanke’s opener looked set to earn Sean Dyche’s side a valuable point, but Coleman’s late intervention left them empty-handed.

This is a crunch time for Everton both on and off the pitch. Their majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri said ahead of the game he remained confident the protracted takeover of the club by 777 Partners would be completed soon and herald a brighter future.

The club are also due to find out the verdict of a second charge of breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, with a further points deduction a possibility before the end of the season in addition to the six they have already lost.

The omens coming to Bournemouth were not positive for Dyche’s side. The Cherries had never lost at home to Everton in the Premier League and the visitors came into the match without a win in 2024.

Next up for the Toffees is a trip to Newcastle followed by a relegation clash against Burnley at Goodison Park.

On Saturday Bournemouth made the early running in the spring sunshine and Antoine Semenyo hit a fierce shot at Jordan Pickford before Lewis Cook blasted the rebound over.

Slowly Everton began to grow into the game and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, without a goal since October, saw an early effort blocked by Chris Mepham.

Everton were gradually becoming a little bolder and Calvert-Lewin had their best chance when the ball fell to him off James Tarkowski’s heel, but he could not generate the required power and Neto pushed the ball to safety.

With the half drawing to a close, Bournemouth re-exerted themselves and Semenyo struck the base of a post as he seized on a loose ball after Jarrad Branthwaite had got caught up with Tyler Adams.

The home side subsequently appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty, with Dyche and opposite number Andoni Iraola becoming tetchy in the dugouts.

The pace of the game increased after the break and Dwight McNeil struck the near post as he attempted a cross, with Bournemouth’s defenders relieved to see the loose ball go wide after it deflected off Mepham.

Then Bournemouth struck as Solanke got between Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey to head in Lloyd Kelly’s cross, taking his tally to 16 for the season.

Everton looked to have claimed an unlikely point when Neto dropped McNeil’s cross right at the feet of Beto, who rolled the ball home from close range to leave Dyche punching the air in the dugout.

But, in a final twist, Adam’s Smith deep cross bounced up and hit Coleman on the chest before dropping agonisingly into the net.

Gareth Southgate has plenty to mull over as he weighs up England’s options and issues ahead of selecting his European Championship squad.

The Euro 2020 runners-up will announce an expanded provisional group on May 21 and have until late on June 7 to submit their final 23-man squad to UEFA.

Following the final two friendlies before Southgate’s selection, the PA news agency takes a look at how the England boss likely sees his options.

GOALKEEPERS

On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton).

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jack Butland (Rangers), Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Nick Pope (Newcastle) and James Trafford (Burnley).

Pickford has been England’s number one for the last three major tournaments and that will continue in Germany. Ramsdale appeared his closest contender but is now clinging onto a squad spot having been usurped as Arsenal’s number one. Johnstone is the likely number three, especially with Pope injured.

DEFENDERS

On the plane: Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

In the departure lounge: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Eric Dier (Bayern Munich, loan), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle), Reece James (Chelsea), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan).

Ignoring boarding calls: Ben White (Arsenal).

Maguire, Stones, Walker and Trippier have been to every major tournament under Southgate and are set to be on the plane once more, assuming they are fit.

Guehi missed March’s games with an issue of his own, but Southgate is confident his third-choice centre-back will be fit for the summer. Konsa and Dunk are pushing for the fourth spot. The latter impressed during his first England appearances this week, whereas Dunk’s stock dropped with a costly error in each friendly.

Branthwaite received his first call-up but did not feature, while Gomez and Colwill – who missed this camp through a toe complaint – would offer versatility to a 23-man squad.

James faces a race against time to be involved but left-back is a more pressing issue. Chilwell improved against Belgium after a poor performance against Brazil. Shaw is Southgate’s first choice but is a doubt for the Euros given he is not due to return to fitness until May.

White would likely be going to a third straight tournament had he not snubbed an England call-up this month.

MIDFIELDERS

On the plane: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham) and Declan Rice (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United).

Hoping for a late ticket: Mason Mount (Manchester United) and Kalvin Phillips (West Ham, loan).

Real Madrid star Bellingham and Arsenal man Rice are shoo-ins. Barring injuries and a woeful end to the season, vice-captain Henderson will join them whatever onlookers think of that. Gallagher appears to have also rubberstamped his spot along with Maddison.

Beyond that, though, there is a lot up in the air. Injury denied Southgate the chance to see Alexander-Arnold in midfield against high-level opposition in a month when 18-year-old Mainoo impressively staked his claim, earning the man of the match award on his first start against Belgium.

Phillips, overlooked for this squad after a disastrous start to life on loan at West Ham, is running out of time to earn a recall. Southgate says Mount is an outside bet.

FORWARDS

On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle) Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Ivan Toney (Brentford) and Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Hoping for a late ticket: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

In Kane, Saka and Foden, the England boss has three starters, never mind selections. It gets tougher after that due to the competition for spots.

Southgate warned at his squad unveiling that established Rashford and Grealish had a battle on their hands for a place at the Euros – a fight that increased after new boy Gordon impressed and Bowen put in his best performance yet against Belgium. Injury denied Palmer the chance to truly shine this month, but he is another knocking at the door. Chelsea team-mate Sterling looks set for a summer off.

Toney scored a penalty as he won his second cap on Tuesday and may have just edged ahead of Watkins in the race to be Kane’s back-up. Solanke is the next cab off the rank behind those two.

Gareth Southgate praised Jude Bellingham’s never-say-die attitude after saving England from defeat against Belgium at the end of an international break that provides plenty of food for thought ahead of the Euros.

Among the favourites for glory this summer, the side third in FIFA’s world rankings stepped up preparations with a pair of high-level friendlies against the nations directly behind them in those standings.

Brazil are fifth and struck late on Saturday to inflict a first defeat on England in 15 months, which fourth-placed Belgium looked set to compound at rainy Wembley three days later.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after a Jordan Pickford error, with a Lewis Dunk mistake resulting in the Aston Villa midfielder scoring again after Ivan Toney had converted a penalty on his first senior start.

Fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo also impressed in a friendly that ended 2-2 after Bellingham struck at the end of second half stoppage time.

“I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Channel 4.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

England boss Southgate told the post-match press conference: “Jude, of course, is the headline.

“That competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players. Very pleased with a lot of what I saw tonight.”

Bellingham pulled the Euro 2024 hopefuls through at the end of a challenging international meet-up marred by injuries.

John Stones joined England’s eye-watering absentee list when limping off with an adductor issue within 10 minutes on Tuesday, when Mainoo’s man-of-the-match performance was among a number of impressive displays.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had,” Southgate said reflecting on the Brazil and Belgium friendlies.

“We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern. We’ve got so many players missing at the moment, and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games, what’s resting on the games.

“We’re not going to know what we’re left with until right until the end but we’ll just have to make the best decisions that we possibly can.”

Southgate praised Toney, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison for their attacking impact against Belgium, while Anthony Gordon has also earned plaudits during the week.

Southgate has plenty to mull over ahead of announcing his provisional squad on May 21, which has to be whittled down to a 23-man group by June 8.

“In terms of knowing the 23, there’s so many unknowns at the moment in terms of who might be available,” Southgate said.

“So, yes, these performances were very important for players to be able to see whether or not they could play against high level opposition.

“But equally the way they play between now and the end of the season with their club, in big matches is going to have a high tariff as well so we will track all of that.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hailed the defensive discipline of his team despite them once again conceding more than 20 shots in their 2-0 Premier League victory over Everton.

James Tarkowski hacked down Alejandro Garnacho  inside the box 12 minutes in and Bruno Fernandes tucked into the right corner from the resulting spot kick to put United 1-0 to the good.

Garnacho won another penalty in the 34th minute after Ben Godfrey flew in on the Argentinian and this time Fernandes handed the ball to Marcus Rashford who sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.

Everton continued to press in the second period but their 23 shots were in vein as United bounced back from two defeats on the spin.

Manchester City had 27 shots at their goal while winning the derby last week, but after allowing a number of chances again today, ten Hag said: “If you see their xG is not that high and ours is much higher.

“It is their gameplan, obviously. We have players who feel comfortable to defend low. But you have to be disciplined and you have to incorporate it very well.

“It was a team performance, especially our back four with the keeper and Casemiro. They have done very well.

“You see the chances, they had some, also I think the way we defended set-plays was very good.

“We were really organised and we were focused – everyone did their job. There was one or two second phases where they we had some opportunities, but all over we did quite well.”

Garnacho went over in the box to win both penalties and was by far United’s best player in another sub-par performance at Old Trafford.

Boss ten Hag expressed his joy of working with the Argentinian but knows there are still vast areas to improve.

He added: “I love to work with Garnacho and many other players in the squad but he is a player who likes a challenge. Brave, confident and our job is to push him to high level but he is doing this. He has high potential.

“When you are young you don’t know what it is to play in a high competitive league and perform every third day.

“You don’t know you have to perform every training session. You need a lot of skills to be the best.”

Everton’s woes in front of goal continued despite their best efforts, including good chances from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana and Dwight McNeil.

The Toffees have scored just 14 open play goals this season and boss Sean Dyche knows his side have to find confidence in front of goal.

He said: “Very frustrating, as you can imagine and we have had a run of that where we have been performing correctly in so many ways.

“The most important thing is the scoreline, that’s the biggest stat and we’ve got on the wrong side of it, we have to work on it.

“I don’t know what teams have come here and had that many efforts on goal and chances but we’ve got to get hurt to score goals as sometimes Brian Clough used to say. That’s what I’m not seeing.

“They are working, the shape is good, the football played is pleasing and so it’s frustrating to not see that come to fruition with scoring more goals because they’re doing a lot right.”

Fulham’s scoring woes continued as their missed opportunities saw them held to a goalless Premier League draw with Everton at Craven Cottage.

After last week’s exit from both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, the west Londoners failed to bounce back with a win over an Everton side, who now sit in the bottom three following Luton’s 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Raul Jimenez, who scored four goals in December, could not replicate last month’s success before Rodrigo Muniz was largely anonymous when called upon in the second half.

Fulham started with purpose. After Andreas Pereira’s earlier strike sailed over the crossbar, Antonee Robinson forced Jordan Pickford into action when he cut onto his weaker right foot and won a corner for the hosts with a driven effort from range.

After last week’s poor showing in front of goal during both cup defeats, the Cottagers’ lack of cutting edge seemed to continue when Jimenez’s shot managed to go out for a throw-in instead of hitting the target.

And they almost rued their missed opportunities when Everton failed to convert the chance of the match in the 24th minute.

Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno parried Ashley Young’s curling free-kick into the path of James Tarkowski, who looked set to tap the Toffees ahead.

Towering defender Issa Diop had other ideas, positioning himself perfectly and nodding Tarkowski’s rebounded effort onto the crossbar before a herd of white shirts swarmed the six-yard area and kept the scores level.

Pereira continued to bombard the Everton goal with pot shots but it was Jimenez who would be the most frustrated after another glaring miss.

Pickford’s save from a Timothy Castagne shot gave the Mexico international a golden opportunity to score into an open net but he opened his body up too much and missed the target from close range.

Jimenez’s first-half display saw him substituted at the break and it was Everton’s striker who looked the most dangerous when Dominic Calvert-Lewin rose highest from a corner and clipped the crossbar, nearly edging the visitors ahead.

On the hour mark, Castagne won a flick-on from a set-piece and was also denied by the woodwork as both sides’ frustrations began to grow.

The momentum continued in the hosts’ favour but a remarkable save from England number one Pickford kept it even.

Willian – who had been a shadow of his usual self – jinked past his man and delivered a well-weighted cross to Tosin Adarabioyo, whose header looked destined for the top corner but was denied by Pickford’s acrobatic fingertip stop.

Gareth Southgate’s England squad selection will be a huge discussion point as next summer’s Euros come into focus.

An unbeaten 2023 is now in the history books and the PA news agency has analysed how Southgate likely sees his options right now.

Goalkeepers

On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton).

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Hoping for a late ticket: Nick Pope (Newcastle).

Pickford established himself as England’s number one ahead of the 2018 World Cup and is all but certain to go into his fourth major tournament as the main man between the sticks. Ramsdale had looked his closest contender but David Raya’s arrival at Arsenal has impacted his playing time and could well damage his international ambitions. Johnstone has supplanted Pope as third choice for the time being.

Defenders

On the plane: Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

In the departure lounge: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Reece James (Chelsea) and Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan).

Hoping for a late ticket: Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Rico Lewis (Manchester City), Tino Livramento (Newcastle) and Ben White (Arsenal).

Trippier, Stones, Walker and Maguire have been to every previous major tournament under Southgate and will do so again if fit and playing.

James undoubtedly has the quality to be on the plane but needs to prove his fitness – not ideal given his issues staying available and the competition at right-back.

Injured Chelsea team-mate Chilwell is in a similar position but may benefit from a dearth of options at left-back. That said, he looks behind Shaw and further behind than the Euro 2020 final goalscorer in terms of his rehabilitation.

Colwill can fill in there as he did on his England debut against Australia, which will boost the central defender’s hopes. He missed November’s camp through injury, meaning Tomori and versatile teenager Lewis starting there instead. The latter impressed on his debut against North Macedonia.

Guehi has established himself as third-choice centre-back and Dunk pushed his case before having to withdraw from November’s squad. Konsa was brought in but did not feature. Livramento was name-checked by Southgate and White has not been involved since Qatar 2022.

Midfielders

On the plane: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq) and Declan Rice (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Cole Palmer (Chelsea) and Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City).

Hoping for a late ticket: Mason Mount (Manchester United) and James Ward-Prowse (West Ham).

Bellingham would be in any squad in the world, as would Rice. There are questions over Henderson and Phillips given their club situations, but Southgate has so far seen enough to stick with two players he trusts implicitly. The latter’s place is the bigger doubt given his limited playing time at Manchester City.

The Football Association now lists Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder, with his versatility and qualities surely enough to see him involved in a midfield that Gallagher is now a regular part of.

Palmer got the nod this time and the adaptable attacking midfielder featured in both November fixtures after a fine start at new club Chelsea.

By contrast, Mount’s difficult end to last season and injury-impacted beginning to life at Old Trafford has seen him miss out on recent squads, but Southgate is a long-term admirer of the Euro 2020 final starter. Ward-Prowse has not been called up despite his impressive form at West Ham.

Forwards

On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), James Maddison (Tottenham), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle).

Hoping for a late ticket: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Ivan Toney (Brentford).

England are blessed with an abundance of attacking options. Skipper Kane is a certainty, as is fleet-footed Saka. Foden, Grealish and Rashford are established performers under Southgate, while Maddison is now a regular squad member.

There are decisions to make beyond them. Sterling has won 82 caps for his country but has not featured since December’s World Cup quarter-final loss to France.

Bowen is another fighting for a sport after his October recall and was denied a chance to take his West Ham form onto the international scene by an issue sustained on the eve of the Macedonia game.

As for Kane’s back-up, Watkins scored on his return to the set-up in October but failed to further his chances with a poor performance from the start in Skopje.

Nketiah was omitted having made his debut last month, while injury hampered Wilson’s chances to prove he should go to another tournament in that role. Calvert-Lewin did at Euro 2020 and is fit again and Toney is the most interesting alternative, although his betting ban does not end until January.

Harry Kane insisted England should be proud of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign despite a flat end to the year with a 1-1 draw in North Macedonia.

England topped their group, finishing six points ahead of Italy, to book their place in Germany with two games to spare.

Kane told Channel 4: “Difficult game, we knew it would be and it was tough against a decent side playing on a pitch that is difficult to play our style of football on.

“We went 1-0 behind against the run of play with a soft penalty. It was good to get on the pitch. It was important for us to get a goal back and a shame we couldn’t get a second.”

England equalised seconds after Kane came on as a substitute and pressured Jani Atanasov into scoring an own goal.

“I’m pretty sure it was an own goal,” he added. “If anyone was going to get a second it was us.

“We can be really proud of how the qualifying campaign has gone.”

Kyle Walker captained England from the start, with Manchester City team-mate Rico Lewis making his debut a day before his 19th birthday.

“I think after the qualifying we’ve had it was always going to be tough here but we dug in and got a point,” Walker told Channel 4.

“It’s football. It’s been a short week, two games when we’ve already qualified. It’s no excuses, we know we should be taking three points from here but it’s something to work on for the future.”

Lewis was harshly penalised for the penalty which led to North Macedonia’s opening goal.

Enis Bardhi saw his spot-kick saved by Jordan Pickford but was first to the rebound to lash his side ahead

“The man to my right has probably received an unfair decision there,” added Walker. “He deserves this cap and happy birthday for tomorrow.”

Lewis said: “Overall I’m very happy – not with the decision that went against me – but I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better. I’m not really focused on any tournaments, just on myself and what I can do to get better.”

Boss Gareth Southgate thought the penalty decision against Lewis was “really harsh”.

“He was excellent,” Southgate told Channel 4. “His composure with the ball and the way he responded to that really harsh setback, he’s a super footballer and he was excellent.”

It was not the end to the qualifying campaign Southgate wanted, but he added: “The really big results were in March against Italy and Ukraine. It meant coming here tonight was a completely different test.

“I thought that given we had already qualified and everything had been achieved the mentality of the players was excellent.

“The quality on the ball was good on a difficult pitch. Just that final pass or finish was difficult to find. But I thought there were lots of positive performances.”

England boss Gareth Southgate says he can “take far fewer gambles” with his Euro 2024 squad compared to the previous two tournaments.

Next year’s competition will see a return to relative normality after the delayed, Covid-impacted Euro 2020 and an unprecedented winter World Cup in Qatar.

Increased 26-man squads were introduced for both of those tournaments, but UEFA has confirmed the size of selections will return to 23 players in Germany.

“It makes it a different sort of thought process because you’ve had that leeway in the last couple of tournaments to take players that weren’t going to be fit for the first couple of games,” England boss Southgate said.

“Or a bit of cover in certain positions that you might or might not have needed.

“This time the physical conditioning of players is going to be really important. The ability for players to bat out six, seven games.

“We know having been to the end of two tournaments that physically the demands on that is far greater than we would have known had we not been through that experience, so we know that is a huge requirement.

“If you can only sort of take two for each position, players that are adaptable are helpful, players that can play more than one position are helpful.

“But equally players that are physically vulnerable we will have got to think very carefully about.”

The enlarged selection at Euro 2020 helped Southgate include Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire. The former had not played since the February due to groin surgery and the latter missed six weeks with an ankle injury, returning to action in England’s final group game and going onto be earn a place in the team of the tournament.

As for Qatar, Southgate was able to include Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips despite a lack of fitness following groin and shoulder surgery respectively.

Asked if players needed to be fit to be on the plane to Germany, he said: “I wouldn’t say all 23.

“But we can take far fewer gambles than we were able to take for the last two tournaments where it was 26.”

Long-serving number one Jordan Pickford is sure to be a key part of the squad next summer and is away with England at a time when his club side are in the headlines.

It was announced in the hours before Friday’s 2-0 win against Malta that Everton had been deducted 10 points after being found to have breached Premier League financial rules.

“I haven’t spoken to Jordan about it,” Southgate said ahead of Monday’s final Euro 2024 qualifier away to North Macedonia.

“The rest at the minute is speculative, so we’ll just have to see as and when anything happens.

“He has coped really well with a couple of really difficult seasons at Everton, where they’ve been in the lower reaches of the league.

“So, if the ultimate decision is as has been said – I am guessing there will be some sort of appeal – then it’s a scenario he’s been through and actually been a really important player for.”

Gareth Southgate has eight months to mull over his European Championship selection after England sealed their place at next summer’s finals with two games to spare.

Tuesday’s 3-1 win against Italy underlined their place among the favourites in Germany and the PA news agency has analysed how Southgate likely sees his options for the squad right now.

Goalkeepers

On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace)

Hoping for a late ticket: Nick Pope (Newcastle)

Pickford established himself as England’s number one ahead of the 2018 World Cup and is all but certain to go into his fourth major tournament as the man between the sticks.

Ramsdale is his closest contender but David Raya’s arrival at Arsenal is impacting his playing time and could well damage his international ambitions. Johnstone has supplanted Pope as third choice for the time being.

Defenders

On the plane: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

In the departure lounge: Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Reece James (Chelsea) and Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)

Hoping for a late ticket: Conor Coady (Leicester), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) and Ben White (Arsenal)

Trippier, Stones, Walker and Maguire have been to every previous major tournament under Southgate and will do so again if fit and playing – not something that is a given with the latter.

James undoubtedly has the quality to be on the plane but needs to prove his fitness. The Chelsea skipper missed the World Cup through injury and has struggled for an issue-free run since – not ideal given the competition at right-back.

Injured team-mate Chilwell is in a similar position but there is a dearth of options at left-back beyond him and Shaw.  Colwill can fill in there as he did on his England debut against Australia, which will boost the central defender’s hopes.

Guehi has established himself as third-choice centre-back. Dunk and Tomori furthered their case for inclusion in recent camps in the absence of injured Mings, whose Aston Villa team-mate Konsa cannot be far from a call-up.

Coady and White have not been selected since Qatar, while fellow World Cup squad selection Dier’s lack of club action has seen him fall out of consideration.

Midfielders

On the plane: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City) and Declan Rice (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) and Mason Mount (Manchester United)

Hoping for a late ticket: Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) and James Ward-Prowse (West Ham)

Bellingham would be in any squad in the world, as would Rice. There are questions over Phillips and Henderson given their club situations, but Southgate has so far seen enough to stick with two players he trusts implicitly.

The Football Association now lists Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder, with his versatility and qualities surely enough to see him involved in a midfield that Gallagher is now a regular part of.

Mount’s difficult end to last season and injury-impacted start to life at Old Trafford has seen him miss out on recent squads, but Southgate is a long-term admirer of the Euro 2020 final starter.

In-form Ward-Prowse has not been called up despite his fine start to life at West Ham.

Forwards

On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

In the departure lounge: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), James Maddison (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Hoping for a late ticket: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) and Ivan Toney (Brentford)

England are blessed with an abundance of attacking options.

Skipper Kane is a certainty, as is fleet-footed Saka. Foden, Grealish and Rashford are established performers under Southgate, while Maddison is now a regular squad member.

There are decisions to make beyond them. Sterling has won 82 caps for his country but has not featured since December’s World Cup quarter-final loss to France. Bowen is another fighting for a sport after his October recall, while Eze will hope to earning back the spot he got before injury. Under-21 Euros winner Gibbs-White is another knocking on the door.

As for Kane’s back-up, Watkins scored on his return to the set-up and Nketiah made his debut this month. But Wilson will be hoping to head into another tournament in that role. Toney is the most interesting alternative but his betting ban does not end until January.

Jordan Pickford will head into Tuesday’s crunch Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy looking forward rather than back.

The Everton goalkeeper was between the posts when Italy beat England on penalties to win Euro 2020 at Wembley.

Pickford was rested for Friday’s 1-0 friendly win over Australia, but is expected to return for the visit of the Azzurri – where victory would secure Gareth Southgate’s side a place at next summer’s finals in Germany.

Since suffering Euro 2020 heartbreak, England have met Italy twice in the Nations League and also won 2-1 in Naples in the reverse qualifying fixture.

Now it is that prospect of another shot of international success – and not seeking payback for the heartache of two years ago – that Pickford insists is driving the team heading into the game.

“We know where we are in the world rankings and we know where we want to be. To do that, these are the teams you have to beat,” he said.

“I don’t think this game has anything to do with revenge. We went to Italy and made a bit of history, having gone so many years without beating them away from home.

“This is another tough game. They’ve got a new manager, played well in the last break, and we know they are a top side.

“This is all about qualifying for Germany. It’s another hurdle we have got to get past and we’ll be going for the victory.”

Pickford revealed there has never been much of a debrief on the shoot-out loss in 2021 and was more upset with the performance in last winter’s World Cup – praising England for brushing themselves off so quickly to work towards Euro 2024 qualification.

“We never really touched base on that Euro final,” he added.

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A post shared by Jordan Pickford (@jpickford1)

 

“There was more disappointment in Qatar, getting beat in the quarters, and then coming back straight into two competitive games.

“That just shows you the characters we are and the type of squad and togetherness we have to beat Ukraine and then beat Italy in their own backyard in Naples in a hostile environment.

“That shows you what kind of squad we are and I think the fans love it.

“Every time we put the shirt on we wear it with massive amounts of pride.

“To beat Italy in Naples was a great feeling, but they’re coming into our backyard now and they will want revenge.

“We just want to put on a performance, be at our best, and get a result to qualify.

“They are reigning European champions and are a top side. We only focus on ourselves.

“We look at what’s in front of us and we will always back ourselves to beat any team because we are fully prepared and have a lot of experience and ability.”

Arnaut Danjuma’s second-half goal earned Everton a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United as both sides registered their first point of the Premier League season.

Cameron Archer’s first strike for the club and a Jordan Pickford own goal saw the Blades’ overturn Abdoulaye Doucoure’s early opener to lead 2-1 at half-time.

But Danjuma, a summer signing from Villarreal, levelled after the break and that is how it ended at Bramall Lane, thanks mainly to Pickford’s miraculous double save at the death, twice denying Oli McBurnie.

Having both lost their first three games of the campaign, this already had a big-game feel to it and while both sides will be pleased to be up and running, they might also see it as a missed opportunity to get their first win of the campaign.

Despite those early struggles, it was an entertaining match with chances at both ends.

John Egan put a free header straight at Everton goalkeeper Pickford before James Tarkowski produced a fine block to deny Archer.

The Toffees also looked a threat, with Beto’s shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide.

And it was from the resulting corner that they went ahead in the 14th minute, finally breaking their duck for the season.

Tarkowski climbed highest from the corner and the ball fell to Doucoure, whose first shot was parried by Wes Foderingham, but the midfielder was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range.

Everton had an excellent opportunity to immediately double their advantage as they had a four-on-two counter-attack, but Danjuma chose not to pass and his shot was blocked.

The Blades responded well and Pickford produced an excellent save to stop Gus Hamer’s low effort from sneaking in at the near post.

A deserved leveller came just after the half-hour as Archer scored his first goal for the club.

Hamer’s cross found McBurnie, who teed his strike partner up to arrow a shot into the corner from 12 yards.

They completed the turnaround deep into first-half injury time as Archer was again involved, with his 20-yard shot crashing off the post and on to Pickford’s back and into the net.

Everton’s response after the break was very good and they levelled 10 minutes after the restart.

The Toffees worked the ball down the right and Nathan Patterson sent in a devilish cross which Danjuma tapped in at the far post.

Again United came back and mounted a concerted spell of pressure as they searched to regain their lead.

Yasser Larouci skied a good chance at the back post before Luke Thomas fired an effort straight at Pickford’s body, with Hamer seeing the rebound blocked.

The Blades almost stole it at the death, but McBurnie’s free header was tipped onto the underside of crossbar by Pickford, with the goalkeeper then reacting to turn the striker’s second effort onto the post.

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