As the English Premier League kicks off for the upcoming season, we’re taking a look back at how the team fared last time out in Germany. Before we do so, this is a good time to take stock of the players who will be participating in this year’s campaign. Here are the 23 men who will be vying for the coveted title of top placed team in England.
England’s Bukayo Saka has left his mark on international football. The 21-year-old, who plays for Konyaspor in the Turkish top flight, scored the winner with a strike in the 1-0 win over Austria. Saka is yet to feature for England, who are looking to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but he has been included in the squad for the friendly against the Czech Republic. The former Chelsea youngster was also named in the provisional squad for the World Cup, but never made the cut.
Bukayo Saka scored in his sixth England cap. England continued their countdown to the European Championships with a win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium, but suffered an injury when Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold left the field late in the match. Manager Gareth Southgate saw his experimental team secure victory when Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saca completed a fine action with a corner kick for his first international goal in the 56th minute. Southgate, who announced his 26-man squad for the European Championship on Tuesday, has chosen an unfamiliar line-up as players who played with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City in the Europa League and Champions League finals have not been selected. England ran into trouble when Everton defender Ben Godfrey, making his debut as a substitute, forced goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to intercept an inaccurate pass. The goalkeeper hit Marcel Sabitzer’s shot that landed on the bar. And as Alexander-Arnold walked cautiously around the pitch, accompanied by England’s medical staff, debutant Ben White saved Alessandro Schopf’s shot off the line after Pickford’s shot had landed in his area. With this win, England have won their last seven friendlies. It was the best performance since England won seven consecutive friendlies under Sir Bobby Robson between June 1985 and May 1986.
Alexander-Arnold gives England a headache
Trent Alexander-Arnold stumbles off the field in the 90th minute. minute on dot Alexander-Arnold’s selection for the European Championship was a major point of contention before the call-up was announced, with Southgate ultimately deciding he was too talented to pass up. And that talent was on display at the Riverside, both in defence and attack, before the 22-year-old cautiously made his way to the touchline in the closing seconds of the match, accompanied by England’s medical staff, and pulled his shirt over his head in frustration. That overshadowed a night in which England secured a win against Austria, albeit with a less than impressive performance, which was perhaps to be expected with a much changed team that Southgate had to reshuffle due to the absence of many players, selecting Jesse Lingard despite not being in the squad for the European Championship. The highlight, however, will be the fitness of Alexander-Arnold, who reached for his thigh after a routine takedown and collapsed to the ground before being consoled by Conor Coady. To make matters worse, referee Lawrence Visser gave him a yellow card for returning to the field without permission, even if it was only for a few seconds. Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold was one of four right-backs in Southgate’s squad, so there’s no crisis in that position, but he won’t want to be without a player who can provide that quality.
England’s stars are twinkling, but Mings is saved
Saka scored his first international goal to show how valuable he is to England. Jack Grealish gave the best performance of the match and deserved the standing ovation he received after coming on. Grealish was England’s main creator and driving force, but it was not such an impressive night for his Aston Villa teammate Tyrone Mings, who was lucky to avoid a moment of recklessness in the first half when he appeared to run his hand right over Austrian striker Sasa Kalajdzic in the penalty area and flattened him in an incident that was ignored by the referee. At the end of the match, England kept their composure and had the Austrians’ irrational actions and desperate defence to thank. Southgate goes into Sunday’s final pre-European Championship friendly against Romania at Teeside with a much stronger squad.
Bellingham youngest since Rooney –Stats
- Austria have lost another match for the first time since defeating Poland and Israel in March 2019.
- At the age of 19, Bukayo Saka became the third teenager to score a goal for England in his time at Arsenal, alongside Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
- Jude Bellingham became the youngest player to play a game for England (17 years and 338 days) since Wayne Rooney against Liechtenstein in September 2003 (17 years and 321 days).
- England have not lost any of their last 19 matches in which an Arsenal (W17 D2) player has scored since Francis Jeffers scored in the 3-1 home defeat to Australia in February 2003.
- Saka was the 33rd. Player who scored a goal for England under Gareth Southgate. That’s one more than was scored under Sir Bobby Robson for the Three Lions and more than 39 under Sir Alpha Ramsey.
- Ben White became the fifth Brighton player to play for England after Tommy Cook, Peter Ward, Steve Foster and Lewis Dunk. England have won all seven matches Brighton players have taken part in. This is the best winning percentage of 100% when club players represent the England national team.
We’re broken up
England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV: I think we’ve made a very good start. We used the ball well the first hour or so. We were playing against a very good team. They have good players. You’re good between the lines. The first hour was good quality. Then we had to make a lot of changes and keep people. We bet randomly, and people started getting nervous. In the end, we persevered. This is understandable, given the changes that have taken place. Jack Grealish has shown some nice approaches. You can tell he’s still in good shape, judging by the explosions he can make. He’s a quality player.
The Three Lions finish their Euro 2020 preparation on Sunday with a friendly against Romania (17:00 BST) before kicking off the tournament on Sunday 13 June (14:00 BST) with a game against Croatia. Choose your England team for the start of Euro 2020 Select the Training Confirmation command
4-3-1-2 formation 1Pickford 2Alexander-Arnold6Coady5Mings3Trippier 8Bellingham4Rice7Saca 10 Realized 11Lingard9Kane
- 2Alexander-ArnoldTaken for 88 minutes
- 5MingsReplaced by Godfrey in the 62nd minute.
- 4Rice was killed in the 61st. Replaced by Ward-Prowse in the 29th minute.
- 10Realists will be in 71. Replaced by White in the 57th minute
- 11 Lingard was sent off the field in the 62nd minute. Replaced by Watkins in the 29th minute
- 9KaneReplaced by Calvert-Lewin in the 62nd minute. Minute Replace in 66.
Supply of parts
- 17 Watkins.
- 18 Ward Prowse.
4-4-2 formation 13Bachmann 21Liner4Hinteregger3Dragovic26Friedl 24Limer23Schlager19Baumgartner8Alaba 25Kalajdzic9Sabitzer
- 21LinerSwapped in the 52nd minute. Minute Replaced by Trimmel in 81.
- 4HintereggerOrder at 87 min.
- 24LimerChanged toGrillchat 62’minutes
- 23SchlagerSwapped in the 20th minute. MinuteSubstitute by Baumgartlinger in the 81st minute.
- 19BaumgartnerIn the 62. Replaced by Shauba in the second minute.
- 8AlabaReplaced bySheffett 72’minutes
- 25 Kalajdzic replaced by Gregoricata 71’min.
Supply of parts
- Anchoring of 6Ils
- The match is over, England 1, Austria 0.
- End of the second half, England 1, Austria 0.
- The attempt failed. Michael Gregoric (Austria) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Marcel Sabitzer visited a center.
- Attempt blocked. Alessandro Schoepf (Austria) takes a shot from the right corner of the box and it’s blocked.
- The attempt failed. Michael Gregoric (Austria) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Christopher Trimmel attended a center.
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (England) is shown a yellow card.
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (England).
- (Austria) wins a free kick in the opponent’s half.
- Martin Hinteregger (Austria) is shown a yellow card.
- Martin Hinteregger (Austria) is penalised after committing a foul.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.
- Christopher Trimmel (Austria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (England) fouls.
- Florian Grillitsch (Austria) is penalised after committing a foul.
- James Ward-Prowse (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
- Marko Friedl (Austria) is awarded a free kick in the attacking half.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (England) fouls.
- Replacement, Austria. Christopher Trimmel replaces Stefan Liner.
- Replacement, Austria. Julian Baumgartlinger replaces Xaver Schlager.
- Attempt saved. Marcel Sabitzer (Austria) right footed shot from outside the box into the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marco Friedl.