England eye back-to-back Euro finals with Netherlands clash

Netherlands are aiming for their first final since their 1988 Euros triumph

England will have their sights on a second successive Euro final when they face the Netherlands in today’s clash in Dortmund but if victory in the 2024 edition is to be achieved, inspiration will likely be needed following a drab tournament so far.

The quarterfinal shootout win over Switzerland brought momentary euphoria for the English, but it was more relief than redemption. After another dull performance, England may require a transformation in attack to reach a third major tournament final. 

Gareth Southgate’s side has limped into the last four with tepid performances against opponents they should, on paper, have beaten easily.

Netherlands, meantime, have yo-yoed through, and were 20 minutes from elimination before their fightback against Turkey in the last eight.

The Dutch have become accustomed to scrambling, however, having fallen behind in three of their four scoring games. Their three wins were all in regulation time, however, compared to one for England.

The Netherlands also have the edge in attack, their nine goals at Euro 2024 coming from 20 attempts on target against 15 by an England side spearheaded by the usually lethal but currently subdued Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham.

The Dutch will bank on the tournament’s joint top scorer Cody Gakpo to trouble an England defence that has been solid in contrast with their jaded attack.

While England’s progress appears surprising, given the football they have played, they were among the bookmakers’ favourites ahead of the tournament.

But the Netherlands’ performance has been unexpected, with the Dutch set to play in the semi-finals of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Football Championship for the first time in 20 years. 

They are aiming for their first final since their 1988 Euros triumph, their only major tournament success.

Historically, the Netherlands have been more successful in their encounters and beat England 3-1 in extra time in their last meeting in 2019 in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.

England have won just one of their last nine meetings with Netherlands in all competitions (D4 L4), winning a friendly match 1-0 in Amsterdam in 2018.


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