England’s disappointing European Championship stalemate with Scotland this evening could yet prove to be a blessing in disguise…
Gareth Southgate’s men were of course back in action a short time ago.
The Three Lions welcomed old foes Scotland to Wembley, for a crunch clash in the Group D table.
England headed into proceedings aware that a 3-point haul would ensure their spot in the Euros’ knockout rounds, on the back of an opening day victory over Croatia.
When all was said and done in London on Friday night, though, the hosts were forced to make do with a share of the spoils.
An at times tense 90 minutes, during which both sides came close to bagging an all-important winner, eventually played out into something of an anti-climactic 0-0 draw.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 18, 2021
England’s potential opponents
In turn, Scotland have kept their hopes of a Last-16 berth very much alive, ahead of a final day meeting with Croatia.
For England, though, the nation’s hopes of securing table-topping status have been dealt a blow. Southgate and co.are set to take on the Czech Republic in their own Group D closer, with the two nations, as things stand, locked on four points.
The Czechs’ superior goal difference, though, means that a final day draw would see Jaroslav Šilhavý’s underdogs finish top.
And this, upon taking a closer look at the potential opponents lying in wait for the Group D winners, could yet prove a blessing in disguise for England.
This comes with the runners-up of the ‘Group of Death’ – likely to be one of France, Germany or Portugal – to come in the Last-16.
On the other hand, the 2nd-placed finishers in Group D are scheduled to take on their counterparts from Group E, most likely to be Sweden (though a stuttering Spain side is also a possibility).
Could England’s stalemate this evening therefore actually prove beneficial, in the long run?
2️⃣ Whoever finishes second in England’s group plays Group E runner-up – probably Slovakia, Sweden or Poland
🏴 If England win group they play Group F runner-up – potentially France, Portugal or Germany
🏆 Half of EUROs winners since 1980 did not win group
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) June 17, 2021
This article was edited by Josh Barker.