Day eight of Euro 2020 is sure to be a cracker with the Battle of Britain between England and Scotland set to be an unmissable fixture in the UK and it could see England reach the round of 16 with a game to spare. Here is what to enjoy on Friday.
Sweden v Slovakia (BBC One, 14:00)
Sweden will need to be switched-on in this crunch fixture if they want to have a chance of qualifying for the round of 16. They defended resolutely against Spain but questions were asked on how they would take to a game against less gifted opposition. A keen eye will be on the young forward Alexander Isak who did look a bright spark in a very negative display.
Their opponents Slovakia have already shown they will be a handful as their system without a traditional centre-forward caused numerous problems to Poland’s defenders. Marek Hamšík and Ondrej Duda had the freedom to pick pockets of space wherever they could find it in the final third and it paid dividends as Slovakia came out as victors. A victory over Sweden will guarantee their place in the knockout stages.
Croatia v Czech Republic (BBC One, 17:00)
Croatia will be eager to deliver a positive result after a disappointing performance against England resulted in a first game setback, making this match crucial in their quest for qualification to the knockout stages. They will need to be more creative and assertive on the ball in a game that could see them eliminated with one left to play.
That being said, the Czech Republic could confirm their spot in the round of 16 with a win after a sensational brace from Patrik Schick was enough to beat Scotland last time out. While their goals were moments of brilliance, Scotland did look the better of the two sides and they cannot rely on picking up a couple chances to get the better of a much stronger outfit in 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.
England v Scotland (ITV1, 20:00)
The main event on Friday that will surely have the entire UK watching. A repeat of the clash at Euro 1996 between these two neighbouring nations in which England triumphed and Paul Gascoigne amazed. There is a huge incentive here for both sides apart from bragging rights. England can secure their place in the round of 16 with a victory and Scotland can keep their hopes of qualifying alive should they win.
It is sure to be a great spectacle and both sides will need to be alert as both sets of attacking players will be pumped up to be the hero in this ‘Battle of Britain’. After an impactful appearance against the Czech Republic, Ché Adams will be pushing for a place in the starting lineup as Steve Clarke will need his best attacking options on the pitch. If he is able to filter Kieran Tierney down the left side with Andrew Robertson, England’s defence will need to be wary of the threat the pair can carry with crosses into the box and overlapping runs.
Fans and pundits will be interested to see what team Gareth Southgate puts out as many are expecting some changes to the side that narrowly beat Croatia last Sunday. Kalvin Phillips put in a world-class display, silencing many critics as he played in a more advanced role with Declan Rice covering ground behind him. It would be a fair assumption to expect the pair to cement the England midfield. Raheem Sterling also silenced his doubters with a goal that gave England the platform to qualify after two games, Southgate will definitely have a tough time of picking his attacking players for this crunch clash.