Euro 2024

Spain v England Final Tips: Four to watch in Berlin with 4/1 shot on offer

Ollie Watkins, England
Watkins the latest supersub for England

Ste Tudor looks ahead to Berlin and La Roja this Sunday, and the opportunity for the Three Lions to stamp their mark on history...

Spain v England SuperBoost

England have made it to back-to-back European Championship finals and Betfair are offering up a SuperBoost to mark the occasion.

English football fans all know about Chelsea's Marc Cucurella, who has committed six fouls at Euro 2024 so far, and managing at least one offence in each of his five appearances at the tournament.

England (84) are the most fouled team in Germany, and boast Jude Bellingham (14) and Harry Kane (11) as two of the top four most fouled players in the competition.

He will also be most likely directly up against Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, who has won 10 fouls at the tournament so far, at 1.7 per 90, and, for whom he has previous with.

In both Arsenal v Chelsea meetings in the Premier League last season, Cucurella committed two fouls directly on Bukayo Saka in each game, and was involved in 10 fouls across the two matches (fouls won + fouls conceded).

Ollie Watkins' sensational last-gasp strike in Dortmund brought to mind David Platt's late heroics at Italia 90 while Phil Foden's first-half performance definitely had shades of Gazza in his pomp.

That though is where the similarities end between that iconic tournament and now.

Thanks to the Villa man's unerring finish there was no valiant failure for once, only rapture, the kind you recall for the rest of your life, but twenty-four hours on we're left with the stark image of who stands before England and the potential making of history.

Spain have scored the most goals this summer and conceded the joint fewest number. They possess two explosive and brilliant wingers and a midfield duo of Rodri and Fabian Ruiz who are unsurpassed.

For the bulk of Euro 2024 they have been everything England have hopelessly fell short of being. Complete. Fluid. Adventurous. Potent.

If the Three Lions are to attain the ultimate prize this weekend, at a bare minimum, these three Lions must roar.

No nuance

Whether Luke Shaw or Kieran Trippier starts on Sunday they will surely have their work cut out, facing the devastating Yamal who will be ably backed up by Dani Carvajal.

The teenager's propensity to cut inside has been in evidence across the tournament but most came to prominence against France. With Spain behind but refusing to panic, Barca's wonderkid teed the ball onto his left foot and curled an absolute stonker in from range.

On the left of England's back three it is imperative therefore that Marc Guehi anticipates such movements and negates them at source, something the Crystal Palace defender is more than capable of doing, as 40 ball recoveries so far illustrates.

Furthermore, Guehi has been outstanding in parts and solid elsewhere.

This though is by some distance his toughest challenge to date and it's worth noting that he has the unusual distinction of being booked for half of the fouls he's made in Germany, two from four.

When mistiming a tackle he's not one for nuance.

All change

One of the stories of England's summer is the impact being made by subs so it was apt that two of Gareth Southgate's peripheral talents made the difference with the clock ticking down in Dortmund.

While Watkins' goal is already seared into our minds it should not be forgotten that it derived from a clever, diagonal ball played in by Cole Palmer and the Chelsea star has impressed across his 125 minutes in Germany.

His brief cameo against Slovenia brought a 100% pass accuracy while he has attempted the same amount of crosses as Jude Bellingham despite playing considerably less.

His singular aim to create unquestionably rubs off on those around him, making England more progressive as a consequence.

Indeed, widening this theme, the Three Lions have embraced the chaos of the closing stages of contests well in the knock-outs, scoring beyond the 80th minute in all three.

Room to assist

An argument can be made that the press and public alike prematurely piled in on a three-quarters fit Harry Kane, believing his lack of touches and lack of mobility was harming England's performances.

In actual fact, going into last night's semi-final, the Bayern hit-man had applied more pressures than any of his team-mates, while his 2.8 shots per 90 average exceeds his output at Euro 2020.

kane semi final v holland.jpg

At the Signal Iduna Park, his expertly dispatched penalty put him level with five others in the Golden Boot chase and did anyone really doubt he'd miss, Kane very much being a man for the big occasion. This Sunday it doesn't get any bigger.

As always, a drum will be banged here for the striker's assist record, boasting 19 for his country and laying on 12 for Bayern last term. This is especially pertinent now that England's front three is more structurally sound, affording each player greater room to maneuver.

Kids today

There was a lot of talk going into the Euros that Lamine Yamal could end up being its stand-out superstar but did anyone really believe the teen could consistently have such an impact? When La Roja became world champions in 2010 he was still a toddler.

Yet here we are, the winger a 6/42.50 favourite the win the Player of the Tournament after completing 30 dribbles, assisting three-fold, and converting a worldy.

Moreover, he has attempted the most shots of any Spanish player, displaying a ruthless edge to his carefree forward-play that has seen him fouled on six occasions.

Limiting his threat is key if England are to have any hope of prevailing in Berlin.

Now read Jamie Kemp's focus on Spain ahead of the 2024 Euro final!

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