Italy rounded off their Euro 2024 preparations with a 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Empoli, with Davide Frattesi's wonderful volley proving the difference.

Frattesi met Federico Chiesa's left-wing cross with a brilliant side-footed finish while off the ground 38 minutes in, giving Kenan Piric no chance as the ball sailed into the top-left corner.

Luciano Spalletti's team had earlier been indebted to Gianluigi Donnarumma as he denied Haris Hajradinovic, and the Paris Saint-Germain shot-stopper made another excellent one-on-one save to keep Anel Ahmedhodzic out in the closing stages.

Spalletti will have been relieved to see a strong Italy team avoid injuries after losing defenders Francesco Acerbi and Giorgio Scalvini in recent weeks, ahead of their Euro 2024 opener against Albania next Saturday.

Data Debrief: Frattesi makes his mark

There are plenty of new faces in Italy's squad for the Euros, with midfielders Matteo Verratti and Manuel Locatelli both left out after helping the Azzurri triumph at Euro 2020. Frattesi has assumed a key role in their absence.

Since making his international debut in June 2022, Frattesi has scored five goals in 15 games for Italy, more than any other player. 

Harry Kane was delighted for Cole Palmer after the Chelsea forward marked his full England debut with a first goal for the Three Lions.

Palmer, who was making his first international start at senior level, opened the scoring from the penalty spot as Gareth Southgate's side overcame Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0 at St James' Park.

Kane was also on target later on, coming off the bench to round off a commanding win with the third goal in England's penultimate warm-up game ahead of Euro 2024.

Palmer, who made his senior debut against Malta in November, continues to thrive following a superb 2023-24 with Chelsea, with his 33 goal involvements (22 goals, 11 assists) in the Premier League earning him the Young Player of the Season award.

Saluting the former Manchester City forward, Kane said: "He's had an unbelievable season. It's never easy moving clubs as well and what he [Palmer] has done for Chelsea is a credit to him and the team he was in.

"We're very happy to have him. I am delighted he got his goal because we are going to need all our players chipping in with important goals in the tournament in a couple of weeks. The more people feeling good, the better."

Kane also addressed his own fitness, with the Bayern Munich striker having missed the final few weeks of the Bundesliga season with a slight niggle.

Although, the England skipper believes the unscheduled break may benefit him as he looks to lead the Three Lions to European Championship in Germany.

"I'm feeling good, and a lot of the end of the season was precaution," he added. "There's a big summer coming up, so we didn't want to take any risks with it.

"In the end, it was a good chance to get a good break after a tough season, and we have been in camp now for nearly a week.

"I've had a good week training, some minutes here, and I'm sure I will get some minutes on Friday [against Iceland] and I will be ready to go for the group stage.

"It's almost worked in my favour missing the back end of the season. It gave me a chance to get maybe more rest than I was going to get."

Gareth Southgate admitted he may have future selection headaches after England's 3-0 friendly win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at St. James' Park on Monday.

Cole Palmer netted on his first England start from the penalty spot before Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane made sure of the victory late on.

With key players out injured, Southgate used the opportunity to give some of the less experienced squad members some valuable minutes ahead of Euro 2024.

The England manager still has to narrow his 33-man preliminary squad down to 26, with the announcement due later this week.

Southgate confessed the first-half performance was not what he wanted, but overall, he was pleased with how his side responded after half-time.

"We had a lot of fresh players to bring in," Southgate told Channel 4. "Once you break that resistance then it starts to come. A lot of players didn't have many caps that started so it was going to be a sticky start.

"I thought [Palmer and Eberechi Eze] both played with the freedom. Ebere has got lovely movement to go past players, he's got power. A couple of times, Cole was being too precise and if he got his shots away earlier maybe he could've got a couple.

"The great thing is we've got through the last few days with no new problems. That's really important. We needed to get through these first matches to get a clearer picture and the guys rehabbing have done well.

"A little bit [of a selection headache] but that's a good thing. I would rather have good performances than poor performances.

"Winning and clean sheets are good habits to have."                    

England's final friendly before their Euro 2024 campaign begins is against Iceland on June 7, with Southgate due to announce his 26-man squad following that game.

Cole Palmer scores on his first England start to set the hosts on their way to a 3-0 friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina at St. James' Park on Monday.

The Chelsea midfielder kept his cool from the spot to put England ahead in the 60th minute after a frustrating goalless first half.

Trent Alexander-Arnold made sure of the victory in the 85th minute, striking a superb low volley around Nikola Vasilj and into the bottom corner.

Harry Kane, off the bench, added a third from close range, pouncing on the loose ball after Ezri Konsa had inadvertently blocked Jarrod Bowen's shot on the line. 

Data Debrief: England find shooting boots in second half

Palmer is just the fifth player to see his first-ever England goal come from the penalty spot, after Tommy Lawton (1938), Alf Ramsey (1951), Allan Clarke (1970) and Ivan Toney (2024).

Not only did Alexander-Arnold score his third goal for the Three Lions in this game, but he also created five chances, at least three more than any other player on the pitch.

Kane may not have started, but his late strike is the 12th goal he has scored in his last 12 matches for the national side across all competitions. 

England will be without Bukayo Saka, John Stones and Harry Maguire for Monday's friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, manager Gareth Southgate confirmed on Sunday.

Saka will be rested after missing Arsenal's last Premier League game of the season, while Stones is still finding fitness after his club campaign with title-winning Manchester City.

In more concerning news for the Three Lions, Manchester United pair Maguire and Luke Shaw are potential longer-term absentees ahead of Euro 2024, which starts on June 14 in Germany.

"All are progressing well," Southgate said at his pre-match press conference. "We are pleased with the progress they've made, none of them will be involved tomorrow.

"Same tomorrow for Bukayo Saka and for John Stones. Everybody else will be involved.

"John has reported a bit later so hasn't worked with us, he will follow an individual programme. Bukayo is fine, he will be rested tomorrow and should be available by Friday."

Anthony Gordon is another doubt after posting for England duty following an impressive season with Newcastle United.

"Gordon has a chance to be available for Friday," Southgate added. "The other two [Maguire and Shaw] are more unlikely, let's see how far they can go."

Though there are injury concerns, Southgate will likely head to the upcoming European Championship with a similar defence as to what helped England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

The Three Lions boss says that proves the quality of his defence, which boasts the likes of Maguire, Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

"It's testimony to their consistency," he continued. "They've all been playing at top clubs throughout that time. They have delivered in the biggest matches under intense pressure.

"There is a bond in that group from experiencing the big nights together. Coming through those challenges, we have some good young defenders coming through now.

"What they are brilliant at is making the players feel welcome. They have allowed to settle in as any of those players could be in the team over the next five or six weeks."

Trippier is expected to captain the side in the absence of Harry Kane, who is not likely to start but should be fit from the bench after his back injury sustained when playing for Bayern Munich.

"It's going to be very special," the Newcastle defender said of captaining his country. "I have to thank Gareth for giving me that trust.

"But if I have the armband or not, or if I play or not, I will always be there for the team. To lead the lads out will be special. My son will be mascot as well."

Bosnia and Herzegovina have postponed their upcoming friendly with Russia amid widespread criticism, including from their own players.

Bosnia announced in September they would face Russia in Saint Petersburg on November 19, a day before the World Cup gets under way in Qatar.

The game would have been Russia's first against a European side since being banned from all FIFA and UEFA competitions following the country's invasion of Ukraine in February.

However, following complaints from Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko, Bosnia's Football Association (NFSBIH) has announced the match will no longer go ahead next month.

"The friendly between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia, which was supposed to be played on November 19, will not be played at that time," Monday's statement read.

"At today's session of the executive board of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the match planned for November 19 was postponed.

"President of NSFSBIH, Mr. Vico Zeljkovic, stated that the playing of this friendly match will be extended for some future date."

Bosnia failed to reach the World Cup after finishing fourth in their qualification group, while Russia were blocked from taking part in March's play-offs as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Russia's only match since last November was a 2-1 friendly win against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek in September.

The Ukrainian Football Association will appeal to FIFA in a bid to get Iran thrown out of the Qatar World Cup.

A statement from Ukraine’s FA on Monday confirmed its executive committee want Iran to be excluded from the tournament for "possible involvement of Iran in the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine".

Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February. The country's football team reached the final stage of UEFA's qualification play-offs but were beaten by Wales in June.

FIFA and UEFA subsequently banned Russia from playing international football.

The chief executive of Ukrainian Premier League side Shakhtar Donetsk, Sergei Palkin, last week urged FIFA to prevent Iran from competing in Qatar, suggesting Ukraine replace them.

A statement on the Ukrainian FA's website referenced the fact the executive committee had decided to appeal to the world governing body, but did not mention the possibility of replacing them at the tournament.

The statement outlined that the executive had made the decision: "Taking into account media information about systematic human rights violations in Iran, which may violate the principles and norms of the FIFA Statutes, taking into account the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 regarding the imposition of sanctions on Iran and the possible involvement of Iran in the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine, to make a request to the FIFA to consider excluding the Iranian national team from the 2022 FIFA World Cup."

Iran's opening game of the World Cup is scheduled to take place on November 21 against England.

Meanwhile, the Bosnia and Herzegovina FA has confirmed the proposed friendly with Russia on November 19 has been postponed, though the intention remains for it to be played "at a future date".

A statement read: "The friendly match between the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia, which was supposed to be played on November 19 in Saint Petersburg, will not be played at that time.

"At today's session of the Executive Board of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the match planned for November 19 was postponed. President of NS/FS BiH, Mr. Vico Zeljkovic stated that the playing of this friendly match will be extended for some future date."

Bosnia and Herzegovina have scheduled a friendly against Russia one day before the start of the World Cup, sparking controversy and attracting criticism from within their own ranks.

The match is set to take place in Saint Petersburg on November 19, on the eve of Qatar 2022, with the date and Bosnia's opposition both being highly questionable.

Russia's national teams were banned from international competition following the invasion of Ukraine, weeks before the team were due to start a play-off campaign for a potential spot at the World Cup.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, who were due to be potential opponents for Russia, pressured for the ban to take place, while federations representing England, France and the United States quickly made it clear they would not play them under any circumstances.

Bosnia, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the tournament and the decision to play Russia was condemned by midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

"The decision is not good. I am speechless," Pjanic was quoted as saying by Bosnian media. "In the national Football Association, they know what I think."

Benjamina Karic, the mayor of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, also hit out at the decision in a social media post.

"Sarajevo as the city which has been under the longest siege from aggressors and me as a mayor strongly condemn the decision by the national Football Association to play a friendly match with Russia," Karic said.

"Unless the decision is reversed, we will cease cooperation with the Football Association, which so far has been fruitful."

Russia have not played an international match since last November but are due to face Kyrgyzstan this month and Iran in November.

Cole Bassett scored a last-gasp winner on debut as the United States capped a strong 2021 with a 1-0 friendly win over 10-man Bosnia-Herzegovina in Carson on Saturday.

Colorado Rapids midfielder Bassett, 20, swooped on a rebound to break the deadlock in the 89th minute, with Bosnia goalkeeper Nikola Cetkovic unable to hold Jonathan Gomez's effort.

The result extends USA's unbeaten run to four games and makes it 17 wins in the calendar year in their final fixture of 2021.

The visitors had been reduced to 10 men in the 40th minute when Amar Begic was given a straight red card from a hard challenge on Kellyn Acosta.

Jordan Morris had come closest to opening the scoring in the first half, with a header brilliantly saved by Cetkovic with his outstretched leg in the 31st minute.

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter had selected a largely domestic-based squad, with the likes of Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen and Christian Pulisic unavailable.

France failed to bounce back from their surprise Euro 2020 elimination as they were held to a 1-1 draw in 2022 World Cup qualifying by Bosnia-Herzegovina, finishing with 10 men. 

Les Bleus, who went out in the last 16 of the European Championship after a shock penalty shoot-out loss to Switzerland, fell behind to Edin Dzeko’s 36th-minute strike in Strasbourg on Wednesday but were quickly back on terms following a fortuitous goal for Antoine Griezmann. 

Didier Deschamps' side would have been expecting to push on for a win to go six points clear of second-placed Ukraine, who drew 2-2 with Kazakhstan earlier on Wednesday, in the second half of the Group D clash. 

However, after a deadline-day switch from Sevilla to Chelsea failed to materialise, Jules Kounde was shown a red card for a lunge on Sead Kolasinac following a VAR check and France had to settle for a point. 

Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive penalty against Switzerland but went close to getting back on the scoresheet when his effort from the tightest of angles crashed behind off the near post in the 27th minute. 

Miralem Pjanic warmed the gloves of Hugo Lloris before Dezko seized upon a wayward Thomas Lemar pass and drilled a fine 20-yard effort through Presnel Kimpembe's legs and into the bottom-right corner. 

France were somewhat lucky to restore parity three minutes later. Dzeko headed a corner against Griezmann's back and following a VAR check it was clear Ibrahim Sehic had failed to keep the ball out after a slight touch off Dennis Hadzikadunic. 

Aurelien Tchouameni was sent on for his debut at half-time but France's plan was thrown into disarray following Kounde's late tackle on Kolasinac, who had to be replaced by Eldar Civic. 

Bosnia had a couple of chances to steal a famous win, but Smail Prevljak and Pjanic were unable to find the target with their efforts inside the final five minutes.

Antoine Griezmann scored the only goal as a below-par France edged past Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in their World Cup qualifying clash on Wednesday. 

The 2018 winners followed up their opening Group D draw against Ukraine with a routine win over Kazakhstan on Sunday, but back-to-back wins did not look likely during a dismal first half from Didier Deschamps' side. 

They perked up in the second period, though, and sealed all three points when Griezmann headed home his 35th international goal in the 60th minute. 

The result means Les Bleus are top of Group D on seven points, four points clear of second-placed Ukraine.

Hugo Lloris, whose 123rd appearance moved him level with Thierry Henry as France's second-most capped player, was twice called into action shortly before the half-hour mark. 

First, he pawed away Darko Todorovic's fierce strike from distance before superbly tipping away Anel Ahmedhodzic's close-range header from a corner. 

Kylian Mbappe and Griezmann cut isolated figures in attack for France in the opening 45 minutes, with Deschamps side going in at the break having had just a single shot on target. 

They improved after the interval and went ahead on the hour mark, Griezmann steering a superb header from Adrien Rabiot's cross into Ibrahim Sehic's top-right corner.

The hosts rarely looked like salvaging a point in the closing stages as France comfortably held on to take command of the group.



Kylian Mbappe cannot be satisfied with his performances in France's opening two World Cup 2022 qualifiers, according to head coach Didier Deschamps.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward played 77 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Ukraine and just over half an hour in the 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan without finding the net.

He attempted seven shots across those two Group D fixtures, finding the target from three of them, including a penalty that was saved by Alexandr Mokin at Astana Arena on Sunday.

Mbappe's goalscoring record with Monaco and PSG has not quite been matched at international level, having managed 16 goals in 41 appearances for Les Blues.

But despite acknowledging that there is room for improvement from Mbappe, Deschamps does not believe the 22-year-old is low on confidence.

"He cannot be satisfied with what he has done so far," Deschamps said ahead of Wednesday's trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"He was not very leggy in the first game. He was much better off against Kazakhstan and had chances. Of course he wants to score more goals and create them."

Asked if the penalty miss against Kazakhstan has affected Mbappe, Deschamps said: "No, I don't feel it has. It happens to everyone. 

"I know Kylian well. He can, over a match or a period of time, have a spell of efficiency that is a little less good than usual."

Deschamps is spoiled for choice in terms of options across the field, not least in attack where Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman are battling for a starting spot.

Coman started the disappointing draw with Ukraine but was left out against Kazakhstan in favour of Dembele, who made the most of his chance with the opening goal.

"They are players somewhat in the same profile – yet they are not the same," Deschamps said. "They are both dribblers capable of taking opponents out of the game.

"Ousmane can speed past opponents and go fast without the ball. Kingsley can play both sides, even if he has a preference, just like Ousmane."

One player France will have to make do without against Bosnia-Herzegovina is defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has returned to Chelsea with a hamstring injury.

"We know his importance," Deschamps said of Kante's absence. "When he is available, of course I prefer to have him in the team, and that is the same for his team-mates.

"He is an importance player for us, but he is not available on Wednesday and I have lots of other players." 

Mbappe is another fitness doubt for France after hobbling off against Kazakhstan, but Deschamps is not ruling the Manchester United forward out of the Bosnia match.

"Anthony has a little problem with his knee, but we cannot make a decision on his inclusion today," Deschamps said. 

"He is not at his best and will not participate in the training session tonight, but we will take stock tomorrow."

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