Southgate – ‘Performance is the priority’ against ‘wounded’ North Macedonia
England have travelled to Skopje for their final outing of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign as they take on North Macedonia this evening.
The Three Lions are hoping to see out qualifying without a loss as they are unbeaten through their seven matches so far, winning six and drawing once against Ukraine. They have already secured a place at the tournament in Germany next summer and are guaranteed to finish top of Group C.
Gareth Southgate’s side defeated Malta 2-0 at Wembley on Friday night but they were sluggish and disjointed throughout meaning the manager will be looking for a much-improved performance in tonight’s contest.
North Macedonia sit fourth in the group having only beaten Malta so far. Earlier in the campaign they drew 1-1 with Italy and put up a good fight against the European champions last time out before fading to a 5-2 defeat. With home advantage on their side as well, the hosts will make things challenging for England if they are not at their best.
Follow all the action from this Euro 2024 qualifier below plus get the latest odds and tips right here:
England team changes
Gareth Southgate has made six changes to the England team that started the match against Malta. In the backline comes Kyle Walker and Rico Lewis who replace Kieran Trippier and Fikayo Tomori.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the only one to keep his spot in midfield as Jordan Henderson and Conor Gallagher are replaced with Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice.
Phil Foden looks likely to move into a central position with Saka starting on the right wing, over on the left Jack Grealish comes in for Marcus Rashford and Ollie Watkins takes Harry Kane’s place as the centre forward.
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:46
North Macedonia vs England line-ups
North Macedonia XI: Dimitrievski, Manev, Serafimov, Musliu, Dimoski, Atanasov, Alimi, Alioski, Miovski, Bardhi, Elmas
England XI: Pickford, Walker, Maguire, Guehi, Lewis, Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Saka, Foden, Grealish, Watkins
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:40
Kieran Trippier withdraws from England squad ahead of trip to North Macedonia
The team underwent their final training session at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground earlier today before they fly out to Skopje for the match against North Macedonia tomorrow night.
Posting on X, formerly Twitter, the England social media account announced Trippier’s departure saying: “22 players are out for today’s session at Spurs Official’s training ground ahead of our final Euro 2024 qualifier.
“[Kieran Trippier] has departed the ThreeLions camp, owing to a personal matter and will not travel to North Macedonia.”
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:35
North Macedonia vs England
England have arrived in Skopje. Team news coming shortly…
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:33
North Macedonia vs England
England have met North Macedonia on five previous occasions, having previously been drawn alongside each other in successive European Championships qualifying groups for Euro 2004 and Euro 2008.
The first encounter came at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. England went behind twice in the game but ended up securing a 2-2 draw thanks to strikes from David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
The second game ended 0-0 at Old Trafford during Steve McClaren’s reign and the most recent clash also took place at Manchester United’s home ground with the Three Lions impressing in a 7-0 victory in this year’s Euro 2024 qualifying.
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:30
Gareth Southgate wants vastly-improved display from England in North Macedonia
The Euro 2020 runners-up sealed their place at next summer’s edition with two matches to spare and were below par in Friday’s qualifier.
England disappointed a packed Wembley crowd by limping to a 2-0 victory over Malta, leading the manager to suggest his players had subconsciously taken their foot off the gas.
Southgate did not castigate those that have done so well for him over the years, but he is demanding a vastly-improved display in North Macedonia as they bring the curtain down on 2023.
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:25
Southgate agrees with Rice on England’s performance versus Malta
Gareth Southgate echoed the thoughts of Declan Rice saying that he’s hoping for an improved performance from England tonight and wants to end the year well.
“We weren’t at the level of performance that we wanted on Friday so we are all focused on tomorrow’s game.” He said at the pre-match press conference yesterday.
“We play a team who, although they can’t qualify, have tremendous pride and they’ll be wounded by what happened in Manchester [when England won 7-0], so we have to be ready for a really good, really good atmosphere and a full stadium.
“We’ve had a calendar year where we’ve been very good, so we want to finish well.”
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:20
North Macedonia vs England
The Three Lions are unbeaten since just being edged out in the World Cup last year by finalists France.
They have already secured their place in next summer’s Euro 2024 in Germany and could complete this qualifying campaign without a loss if they avoid defeat to North Macedonia tonight.
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:15
Rice wants England to end the year with a bang
Declan Rice took the pre-match press conference alongside England boss Gareth Southgate and spoke about the team’s plans for tonight’s match and I how he wants England to end the year on a high.
“Look, we know how good they are,” said Rice, “Even though we won quite big in Manchester, we knew before the game some of the quality they have on the pitch and some of the star players they have.
“We were wary of that and we will be wary of that again tomorrow night, especially after the other night against Malta – just a bit of pride in ourselves that we need to raise the level, we need to put out a statement and it’ll be a good way to end the year.
“We are currently unbeaten since the World Cup, so it’s down to us to go out tomorrow night and put on a performance. I feel like we have to be mentally prepared, have the right mentality, be ready for a hostile environment and make sure that we go out of this year with a bang.
“So we’ll be ready for whatever they throw at us.”
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:10
Declan Rice shares thoughts on VAR after England screamer ruled out: ‘I was gutted’
Declan Rice has shared his thoughts on VAR after his impressive goal against Malta was ruled out by the technology.
The Arsenal midfielder curled an effort into the net from the edge of the box, but it was chalked off after Harry Kane was adjudged to have been stood in an offside position, blocking the goalkeeper’s view.
Ahead of England’s fixture against North Macedonia on Monday night, Rice was asked if he is a “fan” of VAR and how he felt when his goal was ruled out.
Declan Rice tells reporters what he thinks of VAR issue
Mike Jones20 November 2023 18:05
Olivia Martin is a dedicated sports journalist based in the UK. With a passion for various athletic disciplines, she covers everything from major league championships to local sports events, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis.