Gareth Southgate believes England are set for an exciting summer next year, as the Three Lions gear up for the UEFA Nations League Finals in Portugal.
England were drawn out to play the Netherlands in their semi-final in Guimares in June, following Monday’s draw in Dublin.
- 05/06/19: Portugal v Switzerland, Porto, 7.45pm
- 06/06/19: England v Netherlands, Guimares,7.45pm
- 09/06/19: Third place play-off, Guimares, 2pm
- 09/06/19: The Final, Porto, 7.45pm
- Live on Sky Sports
And with host nation Portugal facing Switzerland in the other semi-final, Southgate believes the inaugural Nations League Final is firmly within sight of all the teams involved.
“It’s going to be a fantastic occasion to be a part of,” said Southgate.
“All four teams are fairly evenly matched and bunched together in terms of our world rankings so everybody will feel they have a good chance.
“It’s a really good test for us and I know all of our players will be looking forward to the summer.”
The game with the Dutch is a repeat of England’s first match of what has turned out to be a memorable 2018.
It was March when Southgate and his squad headed to Amsterdam to face Ronald Koeman’s team in what was one of the Three Lions’ early World Cup preparation games.
And they came home with a 1-0 win after Jesse Lingard’s second-half goal sealed a deserved victory on the night.
“They’ve probably improved since that game, as Ronald had only just taken over and had them for three days,” explained Southgate.
“So I’m not surprised, given his calibre as a coach, that he’s made a big difference already .
“I’ve been watching Holland closely since Ronald took over and they’re similar to us, in that they have a lot of exciting young players with good technical ability, high energy and a lot of pace.
“We know some of their players from the Premier League but there’s some really good young ones emerging in the Dutch league as well.
“They always want to play expansive football, but Ronald has that pragmatism as a coach that he doesn’t leave them wide open so it’s a good balance for them.
“I think it’s a game both sets of supporters can look forward to.”
England’s official ticket allocation to these fixtures will only be available to England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) members so join now and have the best chance of seeing the Three Lions in Portugal next summer. We will be opening the registration process for these matches in the next few days.
Sale dates and ticket prices are still to be confirmed by UEFA. Once these details are finalised, members who have registered their interest will be updated accordingly. Tickets will be limited to one per member, Terms and Conditions apply.