Gary Neville pinpoints ‘problem’ for England vs Slovakia as Keane picks two teams to ‘avoid’

Will Ford
Southgate Neville England
Gary Neville has hit out at Gareth Southgate over his coaching at Euro 2024.

Gary Neville has explained a “problem” Gareth Southgate and England look set to face against Slovakia in the last 16.

The Three Lions have underwhelmed at Euro 2024 but still finished top of their group having gone unbeaten across their opening three games of the tournament.

The easy side of the draw

And the draw has opened up from them as a result, with all of Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium on the other, far more difficult, side of the draw.

Georgia’s historic win over Portugal on Wednesday night aided them further as England will now face Slovakia rather than the Netherlands in the first knockout game.

Should they get past Slovakia, England will take on either Switzerland or Italy in the quarter-final before a meeting with one of Romania, Netherlands, Austria or Turkey in the semi.

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Pressure of expectation

The lopsided draw gives England a great chance of making it to the final, but Neville has warned Southgate and his side that playing teams they’re expected to beat, like Slovenia and Denmark, whom they drew with in the group stage, brings added pressure through the expectation of victory.

“The one thing that stays the same for England is they are going to be playing games that we actually expect to beat which has been a problem for them in the group phase,” Neville told ITV.

“They obviously thought the games would get tougher and they will slightly but there is still that pressure on them that they will have to win or else it will be disappointment.

“That’s something they have to contend with.”

Roy Keane also urged caution for any England fans plotting their route to the final in Berlin on 14 July.

“You want to avoid maybe France and Germany but the form England are in, they can’t get carried away,” he said.

“They know they have a tough game coming up at the weekend and they can’t underestimate anyone. They have done that before and it has backfired. They have to up the ante. It is a different mindset now, knockout football, different dynamics. England will have to improve, it will be a tough game.”