"Clearly there is room for improvement" - Chris Sutton makes prediction for Euro 2024 clash between England and Slovenia

Sutton made his prediction for Slovenia v England
Sutton made his prediction for Slovenia v England

BBC Sport columnist Chris Sutton has backed England to return to winning ways at Euro 2024 with a 2-0 win against Slovenia. The Three Lions will be aiming to seal their place in the Round of 16 at the RheinEnergieStadion on Tuesday, June 25.

Gareth Southgate and Co. have struggled to impress in their opening two games at Euro 2024 so far. Despite having arguably one of the most talented squads in the competition, they scraped a 1-0 win in their opener against Serbia, before being held to a 1-1 draw against Denmark.

They are currently at the top of Group C with four points, two points above Denmark and Slovenia who are in second and third place respectively. England will be the heavy favorites to clinch all three points as they have never lost to Slovenia in their previous six encounters, having won five and drawn one.

Sutton gave a detailed prediction, writing (via BBC Sport):

"I do think there has been a over-reaction to England’s start to this tournament. You would think from the response to the draw with Denmark that they have lost both games. I understand there is a disappointment in regard to performance levels, but not to this extent. Four points from two games is good but we are getting the big stick out to hit the team with.
"Clearly the Trent Alexander-Arnold experiment in midfield has not worked. Gareth Southgate has hooked him off in two games, which tells its own story. I am expecting him to make a change there, the interesting thing will be to see if anyone else comes in."

He continued:

"I do not understand how Cole Palmer, with 43 goal involvements last season, cannot even get on the pitch. Some of the criticism of Harry Kane is unjustified too. He does not quite look the same but how about giving him some service? He still scored against Denmark.
"The biggest issue for Gareth is how to get control of the game and give some service to Kane, but something is not right in the middle of the park either. Slovenia will be awkward and are unbeaten so far, against the same teams England have struggled to beat so far."

He added:

"Losing to them is not an impossibility but once again we are facing an old triumph or disaster scenario we have seen before, where England are full of confidence coming into the tournament but now they are being told they have no chance of winning it.
"Clearly there is room for improvement, and I want to see England impose themselves on this game, and running in behind the Slovenia defence. Look at Spain or Germany and they always have the option of doing that. That’s not Kane’s game, so it has to come from other areas."

Making his final prediction, Sutton concluded:

"Still, Gareth has time to solve it. This hasn’t been the worst start by any stretch of the imagination. I am backing Kane to score two as a response to everyone who has doubted him, and England to win – and to be back on to win the Euros!"

Sutton's Prediction: 2-0

"It wouldn’t surprise me" - Wayne Rooney reckons England boss Gareth Southgate could make massive blunder in Euro 2024 clash against Slovenia

Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney believes Southgate would be making a big mistake if he were to drop Bukayo Saka from England's starting XI to face Slovenia at Euro 2024.

Saka had a stellar campaign for Arsenal, scoring 20 goals and registering 14 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions. He also provided the assist for Jude Bellingham's winner against Serbia in the Three Lions' Euro 2024 opener.

Despite this, England have struggled to find the right balance to date with Harry Kane being isolated up front. Southgate is expected to make changes to his side for their game against Slovenia and Rooney believes Saka could make way to allow Phil Foden to replace him on the right. He told The Times (as per METRO):

"It wouldn’t surprise me if Gareth Southgate moves Phil Foden to the right, brings in Anthony Gordon and leaves Bukayo Saka out. But I wouldn’t do that because I think Saka has been really good. He has been creative and provided some good balls into the box."

In the aforementioned interview, Rooney also backed Kane to come good in the remainder of Euro 2024 amid the backlash he receives from fans due to his underwhelming performance against Denmark.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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