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Spain meets France, Netherlands battles England in semi-final

Three weeks down and one week to go: Euro 2024 has reached the semi-finals and is gearing up for 2 heavyweight matches: France takes on Spain and England takes on the Netherlands.

France and Spain will face off in Munich on Tuesday for the primary spherical of 16. The perfect workforce of the event to this point and the most effective European nation from the final two World Cups will face off.

Spain have certified for the semi-finals of the European Championship for the second 12 months in a row after dramatically knocking out hosts Germany on Friday. A late header from Mikel Merino gave Spain a 2-1 extra-time victory in Stuttgart.

Luis de la Fuente's workforce, who’ve been on the rise since profitable the UEFA Nations League final 12 months, are essentially the most spectacular workforce on the European Championship however now put together for a showdown with Kylian Mbappé and the French.

– Absence of Spain in opposition to France –

Spain are additionally scuffling with the absence of two defenders because of suspension, with proper again Dani Carvajal and central defender Robin Le Normand out.

“I feel soccer is a collective sport and it’s true that it might be tough if it had been one-on-one, however in the long run it’s as much as us,” defender Marc Cucurella stated on Sunday when requested if he might cease new Actual Madrid signing Mbappé.

Spain can even be with out midfielder Pedri, who was injured in opposition to Germany. Nevertheless, Dani Olmo deserves to start out after coming off the bench within the quarter-finals and scoring one purpose and establishing one other.

France have the higher hand of their aggressive matches with Spain, the workforce they defeated within the 2021 Nations League ultimate and within the 1984 European Championship ultimate.

Les Bleus additionally defeated Spain within the quarter-finals of Euro 2000 and within the spherical of 16 of the 2006 World Cup. Nevertheless, the final assembly between the groups at this event was in 2012, gained by Spain.

France have reached their fourth semi-final in 5 main tournaments regardless of Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, their two most influential gamers, struggling for kind.

Mbappe is scuffling with a damaged nostril and isn’t absolutely match, however he’s the one French participant to have scored in 5 video games.

That was a penalty in opposition to Poland, the opposite two targets had been scored by opponents.

Didier Deschamps' workforce, world champions in 2018 and runners-up in 2022, defeated Portugal on penalties after their quarter-final in Hamburg had ended 0-0 after additional time.

There’s criticism of the way in which they play, however the French gamers don't thoughts.

“Personally, I don't actually care as a result of on the finish of the day we're within the semi-finals,” midfielder Youssouf Fofana stated on Sunday.

– England struggles via –

England and the Netherlands face one another within the second semi-final in Dortmund on Wednesday after each groups emerged winners of their final eight matches on Saturday.

In Gareth Southgate's one centesimal match as coach, England, runners-up at Euro 2020, fell behind to Switzerland earlier than recovering to a 1-1 draw and profitable on penalties.

They’ve reached the semi-finals regardless of not profitable any of their final 4 video games inside 90 minutes, in opposition to Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Swiss, all of whom are ranked increased than nineteenth on this planet.

“You need to present completely different qualities to win tournaments and these gamers present unbelievable character and resilience. It's not nearly taking part in properly,” Southgate responded to criticism of his workforce's efficiency.

The Netherlands completed third of their group however managed to beat Romania within the spherical of 16. On Saturday, nonetheless, the workforce got here from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in Berlin.

Defender Stefan de Vrij scored the equalizer, after which an personal purpose by Mert Muldur determined the match.

The Netherlands, who final gained the European Championship in Germany in 1988, are within the semi-finals of the event for the primary time since 2004.

“I feel it's one thing particular for the entire nation. We're a small nation and we're within the semi-final with England, France and Spain, and we're actually proud,” stated coach Ronald Koeman.

Each groups have gained as soon as every in earlier conferences on the European Championship, with the Netherlands profitable their final assembly 3-1 within the 2019 Nations League semi-final.

AFP

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