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Spain vs England: Euro 2024 final preview

Spain vs England: Euro 2024 final preview

The stage is set for the final of the 2024 European Championship tournament as England and Spain prepare to lock horns in a historic battle in Berlin.

The Olympiastadion forms the backdrop for a showpiece event that transcends a mere football clash, with one nation desperate for redemption and the other on a quest to solidify their status as kings of the continent.

24 nations punched their tickets to the continental showpiece, and after three weeks of captivating football, two have emerged and will go head to head for the European holy grail.

Fans from every corner of the globe will be buzzing with anticipation ahead of Sunday’s box office showdown as each nation yearns to etch their name in history by lifting the coveted trophy on German soil.

The final promises to be an epic thriller, and if you haven’t already gotten your tickets to the showpiece, are offering Euro 2024 final tickets at unbeatable prices.

England’s quest for redemption

England suffered the ignominy of letting the Euros title slip through their grasp in their own backyard four years ago when they were beaten by Italy in a gut-wrenching penalty shoot-out.

Despite a slow start to their 2024 campaign, Gareth Southgate and his side have wriggled their way through to back-to-back Euros finals, and a first continental crown is once again within reach.

Their path to the showpiece was nothing compared to what their upcoming opponents faced, yet England have been nothing short of underwhelming, especially in the last-16 against Slovakia.

Given the enormous talent Southgate has at his disposal, many expected England to blow their opponents out of the water, but they’ve come within moments of elimination more times than necessary.

They needed an overhead kick from Jude Bellingham to spare their blushes against a resilient Slovakia before Harry Kane put the tie to bed with a glancing header in extra time.

They also needed penalties to dispatch Switzerland in the quarter-final after Bukayo Saka’s 80th-minute stunner salvaged a 1-1 draw just five minutes after Breel Embolo drove a dagger through the hearts of the English fans.

Southgate seems to have settled on a 3-4-2-1 system after receiving plenty of criticism over England’s performances, and his team showed glimpses of their vast potential against the Swiss.

However, their best performance at the tournament so far came in the 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the semi-final.

A controversial penalty from Harry Kane and a last-ditch strike from Ollie Watkins rendered Xavi Simons’ seven-minute thunderbolt inconsequential, putting England potentially 90 minutes away from redemption and a first major trophy in nearly six decades.

Given England have come from behind to win all their knockout ties thus far, the stars could be aligning for the Three Lions to set the record straight after their Euro 2020 disappointment.

However, for the first time in the tournament, Southgate’s side will head into a match as underdogs, with Spain on a mission to cement their status as the most successful nation in Euros history.

Spain’s path to glory

Spain have been a force to be reckoned with in Germany and will be keen to round off a phenomenal tournament with the continental holy grail in the bag.

Spain and Germany stand shoulder-to-shoulder as the undisputed kings of the Euros, having hoisted the trophy three times apiece.

Under the guidance of Luis de la Fuente, La Roja have steamrolled their way to a fifth Euros final and will be determined to pull clear from the tournament hosts with a fourth title that cements their position as kings of the continent.

While Sunday’s opponents, England, may have enjoyed a seemingly easier path to Berlin, Spain’s route to the final could not have been more difficult.

The three-time European champions were drawn in a ‘group of death’ alongside title holders Italy, 2018 World Cup semi-finalists Croatia, and continental minnows Albania.

Despite the daunting prospect, Spain navigated the opening phase with a perfect record, scoring five times without conceding.

They obliterated debutants Georgia in the last 16 and edged past Germany – who were arguably the second-best team in the Euros – in the quarter-finals before coming from behind to eliminate 2018 world champions France in the semis.

Their incredible run earned them several accolades. They became the first team to win at least six games in the Euros and the first nation to win six matches in a row at the tournament.

Not only have Spain avoided a penalty shoot-out thus far, but they’re also the most prolific team in the competition with 13 goals. It’s no wonder they’ve been tagged as clear favourites to clinch the title in Berlin.

Becoming the first nation to win the Euros four times is no less than Spain deserve for their remarkable performance at the tournament thus far, especially considering not many expected them to reach the final.

The stage is set for an action-packed grand finale that is poised to keep fans across the globe on the edge of their seats as two heavyweights collide in a battle for supremacy and continental glory.

Team news & potential line-ups

Dani Carvajal and Robin Le Normand are expected to reclaim their place in the starting line-up for Sunday’s final after missing the semis due to suspension.

Alvaro Morata started against France after reports that he had picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the 2-1 win over Germany in the quarter-final proved to be false.

Spain were handed an injury scare over their captain when a security guard slipped and crashed into his knee during the post-match celebrations.

However, De La Fuente has expressed optimism that Morata will be fit enough to start the final, so Spain should have a clean bill of health except for Pedri, who suffered a knee injury against Germany.

Southgate’s improvised 3-4-2-1 system has transformed England’s style of play over the past two rounds, and he’ll be hoping it’s enough to thwart Spain in the final.

Luke Shaw has shrugged off his injury problems and will be pushing to start, although it’ll be surprising if Southgate doesn’t name an unchanged starting line-up for the showpiece.

There’s a decent shout for Watkins to replace Kane at the top end of the pitch, given the Bayern Munich marksman hasn’t been at his stellar best for much of the tournament despite scoring three times.

However, the England captain will likely lead the team out of the tunnel in Berlin.

Spain potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Unai Simon; Dani Carvajal, Robin Le Normand, Aymeric Laporte, Marc Cucurella; Rodri, Fabian Ruiz; Nico Williams, Dani Olmo, Lamine Yamal; Alvaro Morata.

England potential starting line-up:

(3-4-2-1): Jordan Pickford; Marc Guehi, John Stones, Kyle Walker; Kieran Trippier, Declan Rice, Kobbie Mainoo, Bukayo Saka; Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Harry Kane.

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