European Championship 2024: England in Contention to end Trophy Drought

England, France, Spain and the Netherlands remain in contention to win the 2024 European Championship after three thrilling weeks of action.

The Three Lions have been underwhelming throughout the tournament, but have still managed to stumble through to the semi-finals.

They face a tough test against the Netherlands in the last four, particularly given their woeful record against them since the turn of the century.

The other semi-final features Spain and France in a clash which pits the best attacking team at Euro 2024 against the top defensive side. 

Spain and France set for Epic Clash of Styles

France have been one of the most dominant football nations over the past six years and have proved their mettle again by booking their place in the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Didier Deschamps’ side are yet to net a goal from open play in the tournament. They won only one game in the group stage, finishing second behind Austria before beating Belgium in the last-16.

France overcame Portugal in the quarter-final. The midfield battle was intense, with French trio of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and N’Golo Kante duelling with Vitinha and Joao Palhinha.

The 28-year-old Fulham defensive midfielder held his own against the formidable trio. Palhinha completed 63/68 passes (93%) and 11/12 long balls while winning three of his seven ground duels.

Despite his impressive showing, France held Portugal until the end of extra time before sending them home following a penalty shoot-out.

Mike Maignan, who has a remarkable 94% save percentage at the tournament, saved a Joao Felix penalty as France booked their place in the final four.

Spain progressed to the semi-final after edging past host nation Germany, leaving Julian Nagelsmann and his team in tears.

La Roja dominate the ball while using Nico Willams and Lamine Yamal on the flanks to cause havoc. The pair will aim to drag La Roja to their fifth Euros final.

Spain are the only team to have won all their five matches in Germany. They have also won 15 of their 19 fixtures since the start of 2023.

However, no side has ever won six times in a single European Championship tournament or six Euro games in a row – not even Spain when they won consecutive titles in 2008 and 2012.

France’s best shot at winning the tie lies with Tchouameni, Camavinga and Kante shutting down Spain’s technical midfield.

Kante has been world-class despite moving to the Saudi Pro League (SPL) last summer, delivering excellent performances reminiscent of his glory days at Chelsea.

His presence in the team has sparked a betting frenzy in the Middle East, with Arab punters wagering heavily on France to win the tournament.

Interest in Euro betting 2024 is at an all-time high as punters in the region back the SPL star to lead France to another major international title.

However, Spain are the bookmakers’ favourites for the meeting at the Allianz Arena, meaning France will need to upset the odds to deliver a winning return to Arab bettors.

England Face Tricky Test Against the Netherlands

England have progressed to the semi-finals despite winning just one of their five previous matches at the tournament inside 90 minutes.

The Three Lions won one and drew two during the group stage, before overcoming Slovakia after extra-time in the last-16.

They produced another poor performance against Switzerland in the quarter-finals, but kept their nerve to emerge victorious after a penalty shoot-out.

The Euro 2020 finalists will be aiming to go one better this time around, but they are up against extremely tough opponents.

The Netherlands team finished third in Group D but advanced to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed teams.

They demolished Romania 3-0 in the last-16 before narrowly defeating Turkey in the quarter-final and will fancy their chances of progressing to the final.

England are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the game despite their record of just one victory in their last nine meetings with the Dutch.

Ronald’s Koeman’s side boast plenty of attacking flair and they are expected to be too classy for England on Wednesday evening.

The Three Lions have not won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup and their long wait to lift another trophy looks likely to continue.