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Published 16 June 2024 5 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Match Centre: Serbia 0-1 England

Written by:

James Reid

  • N. Gudelj (39′)
  • D. Tadić (75′)
  • (83′)
FULL TIME
UEFA EURO 2024 Group C
Sunday 16 June, 08:00 PM Arena AufSchalke
0 1
HT: 0 - 1
  • J. Bellingham (13′)

The Three Lions kick-off their UEFA EURO 2024 campaign with a win in Gelsenkirchen after Jude Bellingham's first-half winner

Serbia v England
UEFA EURO 2024 - Group C fixture 
8pm BST, Sunday 16 June 2024
Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany 

 
Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate face the press ahead of England's EURO 2024 opener against Serbia
Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate face the press ahead of England's EURO 2024 opener against Serbia

Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane faced the press on Saturday evening ahead of Sunday's EURO 2024 opener against Serbia.

The pair described the mood in camp, expectations ahead of the tournament and the threat posed by Serbia, while Southgate also paid tribute to Kevin Campbell and Matija Sarkic, who have tragically died.

Here's what the Three Lions boss and captain had to say.

Southgate on the passing of Kevin Campbell…

Kevin is the same age as me, I remember him being in Arsenal's youth team and playing against him so often over the years. He was a hugely popular man and his son has also been in our junior pathway. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time. Some of the tributes have been fabulous and people who knew him better than I did talk about his amazing character.

Southgate on the passing of Matija Sarkic…

I know that some of our players and staff actually played and worked with Matija. That news was also received with shock and great sadness. Clearly those boys that played with him are feeling that even more. It's a very sad day.

Southgate on team news for the Serbia game…

Everybody is available. We have a decision to make on whether Luke Shaw could play a part off the bench but everybody trained today.

Southgate on the threat posed by Serbia…

It will be very tough. They have good individual players, fantastic collective spirit, dangerous forwards so we know that this is a really difficult opening game and we've got to play at our best to win. They have a settled way of playing and we have to deal with them and exploit their weaknesses, which every team have. That's the role of our work during this week.

Southgate on expectation at EURO 2024…

I'm hugely excited. To lead your country into a tournament is a great privilege. For me it's as exciting as it was ahead of Russia, if not more so. In terms of our standing, Germany and Spain have already played very well. There are a lot of good teams in this tournament. We have to be exceptional to qualify from the group and go further. Our focus is to qualify from the group. We break it into manageable chunks and that's the first priority.

Southgate on the impact Jude Bellingham can have…

From my perspective he's a young player and one of a number of important players in the team. We shouldn't be expecting him to carry the load. He has a fantastic mindset and drive. He has coped with everything incredibly well at such a young age, coming into our squad and playing at a World Cup, moving to the biggest club in the world. We have a responsibility as a team to be a collective and we'll succeed if the whole squad plays its part.

Southgate on his new leadership group...

We have put a leadership group together because the profile of the squad is different, there are a lot of younger players. I don't want to leave any stone unturned and we want the players to speak. They have good opinions and voices but also I will make some decisions myself without discussing with them.

Kane on aiming for the Golden Boot…

Back in 2018 the Golden Boot was an amazing achievement but that's a consequence of winning games and trying to win the tournament. We have some fantastic goalscorers in our team who are in form and it's now about taking that into this tournament. We're excited to get going.

Kane on what it would mean to win the trophy…

It would mean a lot. I love playing for England. It means the world to me and winning a major tournament would be one of the pinnacles of anyone's career. That's the aim. For me the trophies haven't happened but it makes me more determined to do that. We have a good opportunity, a lot of hard work ahead, and we're looking forward to trying to make it happen.

Kane on dealing with pressure…

Every tournament poses different expectations. We've earned the right to be classed as one of the favourites but we look at ourselves as a team and we know that in past tournaments we've done a lot well but ultimately we're here to win it. There are a lot of top teams and our first focus is tomorrow night. We know how tough it was to reach the final a few years ago and we want to go one step further.

Kane on his relationship with Bellingham…

We do that on the training pitch, we work on scenarios during the game all over the pitch. Jude's a fantastic player and has a really good brain. His movement is very good and we complement each other really well. He's an amazing player to play with. The more we play together the relationship will get even stronger.

Serbia in profile


Nickname: 
The Eagles
Coach:
 Dragan Stojkovic
Captain: Dusan Tadic
FIFA World Cup best performance (As Serbia): Group stage 2022, 2018, 2010)
Last encounter: England 2-1 Serbia (& Montenegro), International Match, 3 June 2003, King Power Stadium
 

Head to head


The Three Lions have never played Serbia at men's senior level, although they faced them in the form of Serbia & Montenegro in an international friendly back in 2003.

Taking place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium, that match ended in a 2-1 win for England, with Steven Gerrard's opening goal cancelled out on the stroke of half time by Nenad Jestrovic.

It looked as the game would end all square, until second-half substitute Joe Cole notched a winning goal in the 82nd minute to send the 30,000 plus crowd home happy.

Current England boss Gareth Southgate started the game in central defence, before he was replaced by John Terry for the second half.

England Squad News

 
 
Sign up to My England Football for updates on squad announcements in addition to a host of other benefits including discounts and ticket eligibility. 
 

Ticket Information

 

The process for purchasing tickets for UEFA EURO 2024 is already underway for members of the official England Supporters Travel Club, where you can find out more information and updates. Tickets can also be purchased from UEFA, although these won't be in the designated England supporters' area.
 
Members of My England Football receive priority access for home tickets, but to access tickets for away games, you need to be a member of the
England Supporters' Travel Club.

If you're travelling to Germany for the game, find out more about Gelsenkirchen itself and the stadium.

How to watch or stream



Games at UEFA EURO 2024 will be shown live in the UK by both the BBC and ITV. This game will be shown live on the BBC.

Match Line Up

The England line-up to face Serbia in the Three Lions' opening game of EURO 2024 has been named by Gareth Southgate.

Captain Harry Kane leads the line, supported by Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden while there's a place in midfield for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

John Stones and Marc Guehi start in central defence as England begin their campaign in Gelsenkirchen.

England: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 4 Declan Rice, 5 John Stones, 6 Marc Guehi, 7 Bukayo Saka, 8 Trent Alexander-Arnold, 9 Harry Kane (c), 10 Jude Bellingham, 11 Phil Foden, 12 Kieran Trippier.

Substitutes: 3 Luke Shaw, 13 Aaron Ramsdale, 14 Ezri Konsa, 15 Lewis Dunk, 16 Conor Gallagher, 17 Ivan Toney, 18 Anthony Gordon, 19 Ollie Watkins, 20 Jarrod Bowen, 21 Eberechi Eze, 22 Joe Gomez, 23 Dean Henderson, 24 Cole Palmer, 25 Adam Wharton, 26 Kobbie Mainoo

 Jude celebrates the opening goal, what turned out to be the winner
Jude celebrates the opening goal, what turned out to be the winner
England opened their UEFA EURO 2024 campaign with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Serbia.

Jude Bellingham was the match winner for the Three Lions, heading home after just 13 minutes with what proved the only goal of the game.

Serbia pushed England hard throughout, with Jordan Pickford called upon on a few occasions to ensure the clean sheet remained intact.

And Harry Kane almost made it two late in the second half but was denied by an impressive save before England held firm to see out victory and go top of Group C.

England started on the front foot and almost worked a sight of goal inside five minutes, as Bellingham looked to thread a pass into Phil Foden in the box, only for the ball to just evade Foden’s spell.
Bellingham turned from creator to scorer just a few minutes later as the Three Lions grabbed an early lead, as the midfielder nodded home from the middle of the box.

Kyle Walker played Bukayo Saka in down the right wing before his deflected cross was the perfect height for Bellingham to emphatically head home.

Serbia looked to work their way back into the contest and almost found an equaliser soon after going behind, as Aleksandar Mitrovic pounced on a loose pass in the England defence before firing his shot just wide of the post.

England continued to see most of the play, however, and almost made it two as Walker raced into the box onto a through ball from Saka but his cross just evaded a white shirt in front of goal.

Serbia continued to push for a leveller and had their best spell of the first half just before the break, but Pickford remained untested in the England net as Marc Guehi and John Stones both stood strong.
 Bukayo Saka was a lively presence in the first half of the game in Gelsenkirchen
Bukayo Saka was a lively presence in the first half of the game in Gelsenkirchen
Serbia also started the second half brightly and had the first chance after the restart as Dusan Vlahovic fired a ball across the England goal but Kieran Trippier was on hand to clear.

England soon regained their footing and Alexander-Arnold called Predrag Rajkovic into action with a long-range effort that was well saved by the Serbian ‘keeper.

The contest was distinctly more even in the second period and Serbia were next to threaten, substitute Filip Mladenovic breaking into the box down the left before crossing which was eventually claimed by Pickford under pressure from Mitrovic.

Another chance came and went soon after as substitutes Dusan Tadic and Luka Jovic almost combined, as Tadic almost played a ball through after winning it high up the pitch.
 Three Lions skipper Harry Kane was closely marked throughout the game
Three Lions skipper Harry Kane was closely marked throughout the game
Gareth Southgate made changes of his own, with Conor Gallagher and Jarrod Bowen both introduced, with the latter making an immediate impact.

Bowen broke down the right and clipped in a cross which Kane headed towards goal only for Rajkovic to deny him with a superb save to tip the ball onto the bar and away.

It was then Pickford’s turn to produce a key save, as the England ‘keeper did excellently to turn a stinging drive from Vlahovic over the bar.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was the next to try their luck for Serbia, but his shot from the edge of the box sailed wide of the target.

Match Line Up

England: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 4 Declan Rice (Arsenal) 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), 7 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), 8 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 9 Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), 10 Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), 11 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 12 Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)

Substitutes: 16 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) for Alexander-Arnold 69’, 20 Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) for Saka 76’, 26 Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United) for Bellingham 86’

Subs not used: 3 Luke Shaw (Manchester United, 13 Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), 14 Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), 15 Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), 17 Ivan Toney (Brentford), 18 Anthony Gordon (Newcastle United), 19 Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), 22 Joe Gomez (Liverpool), 23 Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), 24 Cole Palmer (Chelsea), 25 Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace)

Goals: Bellingham 13’

Coach: Gareth Southgate

Serbia: 1 Predrag Rajkovic, 2 Strahinja Pavlovic, 4 Nikola Milenkovic, 6 Nemanja Gudelj, 7 Dusan Vlahovic, 9 Aleksandar Mitrovic, 11 Filip Kostic, 13 Milos Veljkovic, 14 Andrija Zivkovic, 20 Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, 22 Sasa Lukic

Substitutes: 25 Filip Mladenovic for Kostic 43’, 17 Ivan Ilic for Gudelj 46’, 10 Dusan Tadic for Lukic 61’, 8 Luka Jovic for Mitrovic 61’, 26 Veljko Birmancevic for Zivkovic 74’

Subs not used: 3 Nemanja Stojic, 5 Nemanja Maksimovic, 12 Djordje Petrovic, 15 Srdjan Babic, 16 Srdjan Mijailovic, 18 Petar Ratkov, 19 Lazar Samardzic, 21 Mijat Gacinovic 23 Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, 24 Uros Spajic

Cautions: Gudelj, Tadic

Coach: Dragan Stojkovic
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