England v Netherlands latest: England fans to be outnumbered; ITV ...

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England vs Netherlands
Key pointsEngland take on the Netherlands tonight in the second Euro 2024 semi-final - 8pm kick-offWinner plays Spain in final on SundayPotential England teamCan England overcome ITV curse?Submit a question for sports correspondent Rob Harris for 1pm Q&A
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'We'll out sing them even if we're outnumbered five to one'

Europe correspondent Siobhan Robbins has been speaking to Jack, Chris and Nigel, who have come to Dortmund from Brighton.

Their prediction is 1-1 in 90 minutes, 2-1 England in extra time.

Surrounded by a sea of orange, they stood tall.

"We will still make more noise than them," said Nigel.

"We will out sing them even if we are outnumbered five to one." 

PM hoping to be 'passed notes' with England score during NATO summit

Sir Keir Starmer will shortly wake up in Washington DC to begin crucial talks with NATO allies about the collective defence, and in particular, providing Ukraine with the means to defeat Russia.

But between meetings with world leaders, the PM will find a couple of hours to watch England face the Netherlands in the semi-final of the Euros, alongside his Dutch counterpart.

The game is due to start half an hour before the conclusion of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NATO's principal decision-making body).

The PM joked on the plane last night: "I have no doubt I will be passed lots of notes with really important information about the summit.

"But one or two of those notes, hopefully, will be an update on the score, because I'm not going to be able to get it otherwise."

PM's tribute to England star

The Arsenal-supporting PM also paid tribute to Bukayo Saka, the Gunners star whose stunning equaliser against Switzerland helped England book their place in the semi-finals.

"That was classic Bukayo," he said of the goal. "Cuts in from the right, and that shot is absolutely classic – inside the post. I've seen it so many times."

And he joked: "I’d remind you, England have not missed a penalty under a Labour government in 2024."

In pictures: English and Dutch fans mingle en route to stadium

Both sets of fans seem to be in good spirits, mixing together and posing for photos with their respective flags as they head to Signal Iduna Park, home of Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund...

Can England overcome ITV curse?

England will hope to overcome their ITV curse when they take on the Netherlands this evening in Dortmund.

Gareth Southgate's men face a tough task against the Dutch in tonight's semi-final, though they come in as favourites with the bookies.

Ronald Koeman's Netherlands will take some solace in the fact that, in the UK, the match will be shown on ITV, where England's record is grim.

Since 1996, there have been 31 matches broadcast solely on ITV, with England winning only nine of them. There have been 10 defeats in that time, with 12 draws.

That's in stark contrast to when England matches have been shown exclusively on the BBC.

The UK's state broadcaster has shown 29 England matches in the same period, with 21 of those games ending in victory for the Three Lions.

So, can Southgate and co can buck the trend of recent history and improve their win percentage in front of the ITV cameras?

It's now or Nether...

Potential England team vs Netherlands as defensive switch expected

Gareth Southgate must make some key personnel decisions for tonight's semi-final against the Netherlands.

The Three Lions have reached their third semi-final in the last four tournaments and are one win away from becoming the first England men's team ever to reach a major final overseas.

Southgate was forced into changing his starting XI for the quarter-final victory over Switzerland, with Aston Villa centre-back Ezri Konsa coming in to replace the suspended Marc Guehi.

Konsa impressed as England switched to a wing-back system against the Swiss and arguably produced their best display of the tournament so far.

But with Ronald Koeman's Dutch side playing four at the back, could Southgate decide to revert to the same shape he used in England's first four matches?

If so, Guehi would likely return to the starting XI, but it would be a gamble.

Assuming England return to a back four, the left-back spot becomes another point of contention.

Kieran Trippier - a right-back who has been shoehorned into the team on the left - has been criticised for his substandard performances.

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw is the only specialist left-back in the squad and made his long-awaited return from a hamstring problem as a substitute against the Swiss, coming through almost 45 minutes unscathed.

Southgate must now decide whether to hand Shaw his first start in five months against the Dutch or to stick with Trippier. 

"Luke has been injured for four months, it wasn't a possibility for him to play until the last match," said Southgate ahead of tonight's game.

"He made a good contribution to the game. So that's the decision we have to make, whether he's ready to start, whether that's the best way to use him."

At such a key stage in the tournament, will the England boss - who has built a reputation in his 100 games in charge of being cautious with his team selections - decide to gamble?

Predicted XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier, Mainoo, Rice, Bellingham, Saka, Foden, Kane.

100,000 Dutch fans expected in Dortmund

For the first time at Euro 2024, England fans are set to be outnumbered.

It's expected that around 100,000 Dutch fans will take the short journey over the border and into Dortmund for tonight's semi-final.

Of course, the majority of them won't have a ticket, but will still be making themselves heard in the streets in their country's famous orange jerseys.

But Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate says he's sure England fans will still make themselves heard.

"One of the great things about this tournament has been the atmosphere inside the stadiums," he said when asked about the prospect of being outnumbered by Dutch supporters.

"It has been a different feeling for our players compared to the last three tournaments. It's added a different feel to the games, a different intensity. Our fans will make themselves heard, I'm sure. 

"My memories of playing Holland with the orange in the stadium are vivid, these are the matches we want to play in. You live for these tournaments, that's where you step up."

England's story so far..

Following the disappointment of a quarter-final exit at the World Cup in Qatar back in 2022, England comfortably qualified for Euro 2024 by finishing top of their group without losing a game.

The Three Lions were billed among the favourites for the tournament before it kicked off, and that didn't change when Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad announcement threw up some surprises.

Previous stalwarts from the last few major tournaments - Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Kalvin Phillips and Jack Grealish - were left out entirely, while the then-unfit Luke Shaw was the only recognised left-back picked in the squad.

Regardless, England still headed to Germany boasting a squad that included the best players from three of Europe's top divisions last season. 

Few could argue that Southgate didn't come into the tournament with the most exciting trio of attacking players on the continent in Manchester City's Phil Foden, Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich's Harry Kane.

But, despite that, England didn't look anywhere near their free-flowing best in Group C.

Group stages 

1-0 vs Serbia1-1 vs Denmark0-0 vs Slovenia

With the previously mentioned trio of attacking players joined by Arsenal star Bukayo Saka in the starting XI, it was felt by many that England would be finding the net regularly.

Instead, they only scored twice - Bellingham's header in the 1-0 win over Serbia to get the tournament started and a goal from Kane in a 1-1 draw with Denmark.

A 0-0 draw with Slovenia ensured the Three Lions came through the group in top spot, but there were underlying worries over England's inability to cut their opponents open.

Of the 24 nations participating in the group stage at Euro 2024, Southgate's side ranking 20th with just 29 shots, while they managed only 53 touches in the opponents' box. 

Some fans were at this point calling for Southgate to be replaced as manager mid-tournament, such was the disappointment among supporters at England's lacklustre start to life in Germany.

On the positive side, England looked solid in defence, conceding just a single goal during their three group games.

They were also the team with the lowest expected goals against (xGA) score - a metric that calculates the number of goals a team is expected to concede based on the quality of chances their opponents create.

Into the knockouts

Round of 16: 2-1 (after extra time) vs SlovakiaQuarter-final: 1-1 (5-3 on penalties) vs Switzerland

After making it into the knockout stages, England were fortunate that their side of the draw had an absence of big hitters - Spain, Germany, Portugal and France were all on the other half of the bracket.

Still, Southgate's side had to beat what was in front of them, and in the round of 16 that was Slovakia, ranked the 48th best country in world football ahead of kick-off.

Despite this, England were seconds away from an embarrassing exit in Gelsenkirchen as Slovakia defended a lead they had held since the 25th minute thanks to Ivan Schranz's low finish past Jordan Pickford.

Then came a moment of brilliance from Bellingham who, with an overhead kick in the final minute, sent Marc Guehi's headed flick into the net to spare England's blushes after a woeful performance.

Captain Harry Kane then emphasised England's new-found superiority with his headed winner, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and setting up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland.

A change of system beckoned for the last eight, but once again England laboured in the final third. And, once again, they went behind after Breel Embolo scored with 15 minutes remaining.

This time it was down to Bukayo Saka, not Bellingham, to be the hero, equalising with a fine finish through a crowded box before stepping up to slot home his penalty in the resulting shoot-out.

It was another performance at this tournament that won't live too long in the memory for England fans, not that Southgate will care.

"Winning tournaments isn't just about playing well," he said at full-time. "I thought we did play well, but it's not just about that, you have to show all the other attributes to win, but we showed them tonight."

Supporters came into Euro 2024 hoping to see England play their way to the final with free-flowing, high-scoring football.

They haven't managed it, but they are still in the tournament and are just two wins away from lifting a major trophy.

If they do it, will anyone care about how they manage it?

Welcome to our live coverage

We're almost there folks, 49 matches played, just two more to go.

One team has already reached the Euro 2024 final, but now we have the small matter of finding out who will face Spain in Berlin on Sunday.

It'll either be England or the Netherlands, with the two facing off tonight in Dortmund in what will be Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate's 101st match in charge.

Will he make it to 102 games? Will England reach successive European Championship finals? Or will it be the Dutch heading to Berlin and a flight back to London for Southgate and his squad?

Stick with us as we bring you all the build-up and the latest news from Germany.

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