Picking England’s best starting lineup for Euro 2024 final against Spain

Despite his critics, Gareth Southgate has managed to guide England all the way to the Euro 2024 final.

It’s been a tough road, but now the Three Lions are just one game away from footballing immortality.

The one team that stands in their way? Well, undoubtedly the best team at Euro 2024 – Spain.

So how will England do it? How will they tactically outwit Spain and win the European Championships for the first time ever.

The editorial team at 90min have taken a look…

England XEngland X

Image by Zac Alalouff /

Having forgotten that Marc Guehi was back from suspension last time I did this, I won’t be making that same mistake again. But I will continue arguing for Luke Shaw to be given a start, slotting in at left wing-back instead of the non-left wing-back Kieran Trippier.

Yes, England weren’t as good against the Netherlands in the second half (when Shaw had come on), but that was down to the Dutch getting an extra body in midfield to stifle proceedings rather than anything Shaw or anybody else had particularly done wrong. The change just needs to happen and I think Gareth probably knows it.

Spain have creative talent all over the pitch so England’s best chance of winning is to go out and take the game to them like they did in the first 45 of the semi – successfully do so and it might actually come home.

England XIEngland XI

Image by Zac Alalouff /

It may have taken until the final, but Luke Shaw looks ready for his first start of Euro 2024. His cameos so far have instantly improved England and he will undoubtedly give the side much more balance, though whether he’s ready to take on Lamine Yamal is another thing entirely.

The rest of the starting XI have each played their roles in getting the Three Lions this far and deserve the opportunity to get the team over the line. Arrivederci, it’s one on one.

England XEngland X

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For the first time all tournament, I think Gareth Southgate should actually stick rather than twist.

This starting XI got England going against the Netherlands, and Southgate’s changes got them over the line. That’s how it should be again.

If you can only get one half from Luke Shaw, I’d rather it be the second with the hope of him holding up in extra-time. The calls to drop Harry Kane are nonsensical, but England do have genuine options from the bench, which was not always the case in the last Euros, particularly in the final when Southgate couldn’t swing the pendulum back in the Three Lions’ favour.

England XEngland X

Image by Zac Alalouff /

This is my team for the final, feel free to steal Gareth. The first half against the Netherlands was some of the best football I’ve seen England play in what feels like a long time. Lessening our defenders and stationing players on the wings allowed us to play exciting football whilst covering more ground – something we’re going to need if we are to beat Spain. 

I’m bringing Phil Foden back in as the introduction of Kobbie Mainoo has brought life back into the Manchester City star, finally. 

It was great to see Luke Shaw back on the pitch for half of the semi-final clash too. If he is able to play the full 90, then he absolutely should. 

England XEngland X

Image by Zac Alalouff /

Gareth Southgate has found his system and England played their best football of the tournament in the first half of the semi-final. He also knows, as proven in that game, that he has the players- like Ollie Watkins or Cole Palmer – to come off the bench and make telling impacts.

Dropping Harry Kane still isn’t the right call because, no matter the doubters, he still influenced the semi-final to England’s benefit. The only change it’s foreseeable to make is Luke Shaw starting on the left. He’s done well off the bench and you get the impression this was what Gareth really wanted all along.

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England predicted lineup vs Spain – Euro 2024 final

Another European Championship final appearance awaits England this Sunday.

For England’s men’s team, it’s a competition they have never won previously, coming within several penalties of a maiden triumph at Euro 2020. It’s a heartbreak they seek to avenge this weekend, with Spain the side they must overcome to get their hands on the Henri Delaunay Cup.

It hasn’t been a smooth route to the final, with England often their own greatest obstacle. However, they have started to gel as the tournament progresses, while a tweak of formation has helped the nation’s stars shine a little brighter.

Gareth Southgate has come under significant scrutiny for his team selection this summer but he appears to have landed on his best XI. For such a gargantuan game, will the England boss risk changing things to nullify a frightening Spanish team?

Here’s how England could line up for the Euro 2024 final.

Declan Rice, Kobbie Mainoo, Luke ShawDeclan Rice, Kobbie Mainoo, Luke Shaw

Kobbie Mainoo and Declan Rice have forged a good partnership / Stu Forster/GettyImages

GK: Jordan Pickford – Perhaps a slightly taller goalkeeper would have kept Xavi Simons’ fizzing effort out, but that’s the only mark against Pickford’s name at Euro 2024. The Everton stopper has been typically energetic, even in his quieter moments.

CB: Kyle Walker – While the Manchester City defender has been a level below his best this summer, his pace and athleticism as part of a back three could be pivotal against Spain. Nico Williams will try and occupy that left channel, with Walker a possible antidote to his energy.

CB: John Stones – Alvaro Morata may cause Stones a few issues this weekend. The Spain striker, if fit, will drop deep and try and draw the Man City defender into advanced areas, allowing the speedy Williams and Lamine Yamal to make runs in behind. England must guard against that.

CB: Marc Guehi – England’s strongest performer at Euro 2024, certainly in the rearguard, Guehi returned from suspension against the Netherlands. He put in another smooth display on the left-hand side of the back three.

RM: Bukayo Saka – Playing Saka as a wing-back-cum-midfielder may be a risk given Williams and Marc Cucurella will be bombing up the flank. However, having scored the all-important equaliser against Switzerland, he was a relentless threat again against the Dutch.

CM: Kobbie Mainoo – Having struggled for minutes in the group stage, England’s transformation has been impressive following Mainoo’s arrival in the starting XI. Composure, grit and class are just three attributes he offers.

CM: Declan Rice – Responsible for Simons’ wonder strike in the semis after losing possession too easily, Rice didn’t enjoy his best night against the Oranje. However, he is the only presence in the opposition half that offers any defensive solidity and is normally a class act.

LM: Luke Shaw – Shaw has now made two appearances for England in the knockout stages and played the entirety of the second half against the Netherlands. He may be deployed to keep up with Yamal on England’s left.

AM: Phil Foden – The Premier League’s Player of the Season saved his best performance of the tournament for the semi-final. He cracked the post with an excellent effort and was buzzing around the final third.

AM: Jude Bellingham – Bellingham has recent success in a major European final and England will expect him to lead by example in the final. He has already shown his ability to be the difference-maker.

ST: Harry Kane – While he did win and convert the equalising penalty against the Dutch, he still failed to inspire confidence up top. Dropping far too deep to collect possession, Ollie Watkins’ late winner showed how important pace and darting runs are for a centre-forward.

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Spain predicted lineup vs England – Euro 2024 final

Spain have been truly sensational at Euro 2024 this summer and now have the chance to make history by winning a record fourth European crown.

La Roja will meet England in the tournament final on Sunday evening but are unlikely to be fazed by the prospect of facing Gareth Southgate’s men. After all, they have beaten World Cup finalists France, hosts Germany and reigning champions Italy already.

A brilliant blend of youth and experience has helped Spain make a relatively simple journey to the showpiece event. Luis de la Fuente’s side have been difficult to break down, excellent in transition and devastating in the final third as they aim to conquer the continent for the first time in 12 years.

De la Fuente has seldom tinkered with his tried and tested formula this summer and is unlikely to overthink this Sunday’s match when it comes to his team selection.

Dani OlmoDani Olmo

Dani Olmo is now a must-start for Spain / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

GK: Unai Simon – Fantastic feet and pretty darn good with his hands too, Simon has fought off competition from David Raya for the number one jersey. De la Fuente’s faith in the stopper has been rewarded.

RB: Dani Carvajal – Having missed the semi-final through suspension, Carvajal will return against England in the final. The Real Madrid star netted in the Champions League final back in early June.

CB: Robin Le Normand – Similarly to Carvajal, Le Normand sat out the semi-final due to suspension. However, he too will come back into the starting XI, even if Nacho Fernandez did an admirable job in his absence.

CB: Aymeric Laporte – He may not have covered himself in glory for Randal Kolo Muani’s early strike last time out, but he has been largely flawless at Euro 2024. Laporte, N’Golo Kante and a host of others haven’t allowed the Saudi Pro League to lower their standards.

LB: Marc Cucurella – Who is this Cucurella? A far cry from the hapless full-back seen for extended periods at Chelsea, De la Fuente has got the best out of him. However, his defensive acumen will be tested by Bukayo Saka on Sunday.

DM: Rodri – The linchpin in a perfectly balanced midfield, Rodri is another member of the Spain squad who has come up with a clutch goal in a Champions League final. A big-game player, expect him to make an impact in Berlin.

DM: Fabian Ruiz – The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has been inspired in Germany, operating beautifully alongside Rodri. Allowed to venture further forward, he has two goals and two assists to his name and is averaging three shots per match.

RW: Lamine Yamal – What can you say about this young chap? The wonderkid, who celebrated his 17th birthday on Saturday, became the youngest goalscorer in Euros history last time out with an exceptional effort and could well lift the Henri Delaunay Cup this Sunday.

AM: Dani Olmo – Pedri’s absence threatened to cause De la Fuente some headaches, but Olmo has slotted in wonderfully. Playing as a traditional number 10, he already has three goals and two assists to his name and may well be a surprise Golden Boot winner.

LW: Nico Williams – The infectious winger wasn’t as instrumental as his attacking colleagues against France, but his pace and willingness to run at Jules Kounde still caused huge problems. Kyle Walker’s athleticism will offer a great match-up in the final.

ST: Alvaro Morata – While a slight injury doubt heading into the final, Morata will play if remotely fit. His hold-up play, ability to draw fouls and tireless pressing is crucial for La Roja, even if he has only managed a single goal at Euro 2024 to date.

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5 Spain players for England to be wary of during Euro 2024 final

England find themselves just one match away from making history.

The Three Lions can become the first England men’s team in history to win a European Championship, exorcising demons of Euro 1996 and Euro 2020 in the process. To be crowned champions of Europe would be an astonishing achievement.

However, having unconvincingly battled their way to the final, they now face Euro 2024’s most impressive side in the showpiece event on Sunday.

Spain have been hands down the strongest and most well-rounded outfit in Germany this summer, and have already conquered France, Germany and Italy en route to the final. They have reached the last two by playing exceptional football, their young wonderkids wowing and their experienced generals leading by example.

There is not a single player donning a red jersey that England won’t have to be wary of on Sunday evening in Berlin, but here are some of La Roja’s most threatening.

Lamine YamalLamine Yamal

Yamal only turned 17 on Saturday / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? The 17-year-old had already amazed at Euro 2024 but enjoyed his coming of age moment with a sensational long-range effort against France in the semi-final, silencing Adrien Rabiot and any other naysayers accusing the starlet of being overhyped. He became the youngest goalscorer in European Championship history with his wonderful strike.

But one screamer against Les Bleus doesn’t truly change the impact he has had at this tournament. He had already produced three assists in Germany and currently leads the Spain squad for chances created (16) and big chances created (six).

The relentless winger, who is still too young to drive or vote, will be at his energetic best again this Sunday given he is seemingly incapable of freezing on the big stage. Whether it’s Kieran Trippier or Luke Shaw attempting to shackle Yamal, they will be in for a long evening.

RodriRodri

Rodri is the difference-maker in midfield / Carl Recine/GettyImages

The heartbeat of this swashbuckling Spain side, Rodri is the glue that holds everything together. Much like in Manchester City’s engine room, the 28-year-old keeps everything ticking with his excellent passing and incredible ball-winning and retention skills.

Rodri’s importance has been evident throughout the tournament. Spain have conceded on just three occasions across their five matches, one of which was an own goal, and the Man City ace has done a sensational job screening a backline that many were concerned about prior to the tournament.

Sunday’s final may well be decided by who wins the defensive midfield battle between Rodri and Declan Rice.

Dani OlmoDani Olmo

Dani Olmo scored the winner in the semi-final / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

It’s hard to believe that Dani Olmo didn’t begin Euro 2024 as a starter. The RB Leipzig attacking midfielder has actually started just two of Spain’s matches, but Pedri’s injury against Germany has opened the door for him. He has firmly slammed it shut behind him.

Olmo scored the winner against France in the semi-final and now has three goals and two assists in just 341 minutes at the tournament. He’s averaging four shots per match and leads the Spain team for successful dribbles per 90 (3.7). Finding space in between the lines, the 26-year-old has shown the quality needed to punish opposition defences.

While Rodri will have his hands full with Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham, England’s Rice will have to stifle the relentless Olmo.

Nico WilliamsNico Williams

Nico Williams has dazzled on the wing / Visionhaus/GettyImages

When Yamal isn’t torturing full-backs, Nico Williams is bamboozling them on the other flank. It’s been a breakout tournament for the Athletic Club forward, who is expected to make a big-money move to one of Europe’s elite sides this summer.

You can certainly see why the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal have shown such strong interest in the 22-year-old, whose pace, acceleration and nimbleness makes him nigh-on impossible to stop. He added another ten years to Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s birth certificate during a sensational outing against Italy.

A single assist against Georgia doesn’t tell the story of what has been a devastating Euro 2024 campaign.

Fabian RuizFabian Ruiz

The midfielder has been brilliant going forward / Kevin Voigt/GettyImages

Fabian Ruiz has been another success story under Luis de la Fuente this summer. The Paris Saint-Germain star has always been an exceptional footballer, but he has hit new heights under the Spain boss, who has offered him the freedom to venture forward more frequently.

It speaks volumes that Ruiz has already provided a combined four goals and assists at the tournament, as many as he produced in his 21 Ligue matches this term. His late runs into the penalty area have been a theme of Euro 2024 so far, with the 28-year-old proving the perfect partner for Rodri in the centre of the park.

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Sarina Wiegman explains what she loved most about Alessia Russo’s goal against Ireland

England manager Sarina Wiegman has explained what she loved most about Alessia Russo’s goal against the Republic of Ireland on Friday night.

The Lionesses secured a narrow, but crucial, 2-1 win over their opponents at Carrow Road to put them in pole position to secure qualification to Euro 2025 in Switzerland next summer. A draw against Sweden on Tuesday evening will be enough to ensure they finish second in the group behind France.

In Norwich on Friday, Alessia Russo fired the Lionesses in front following a well-worked team move. Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Beth Mead were all involved before Russo slotted it beyond Courtney Brosnan in the Ireland goal.

Stanway added a second after the break with a composed finish from the penalty spot. Lauren Hemp had been brought down by defender Niamh Fahey after some sloppy play from the visitors at the back.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for Ireland as they clinched a late consolation goal in added time. England didn’t defend one of substitute Megan Campbell’s long throws and Julie-Ann Russell poked an effort beyond Hannah Hampton.

Alessia Russo, Lauren HempAlessia Russo, Lauren Hemp

England were victorious on Friday / David Rogers/GettyImages

While England’s sloppiness is something Wiegman knows will need to be addressed on Tuesday if they’re to put their qualification beyond doubt, the Lionesses boss heaped plenty of praise on the team move that led to Russo’s opener.

“Those are the most enjoyable goals,” she told the media post-match. “All together, the team creates the goal from back to front.

“In the end, we got behind the defence and Alessia was free to score. Every goal is very enjoyable, I must say, but this one was even more.”

England face Sweden in their final group qualifying game in Gothenburg on Tuesday evening at 18:00 (BST).

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