Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand paid tribute to his players for their response to Christian Eriksen's distressing collapse during the Euro 2020 defeat to Finland on Saturday. 

The Group B clash in Copenhagen was suspended shortly before half-time after Inter midfielder Eriksen fell to the ground with no one around him.

Team-mates and referee Anthony Taylor called for immediate help from medical staff, with the players forming a protective barrier around Eriksen while efforts were made to resuscitate him.

The 29-year-old was carried from the pitch and positive news followed with the Danish Football Union stating Eriksen was "awake" after being taken to hospital. 

Both sets of players decided to resume the game after more than 100 minutes away from the pitch, with Joel Pohjanpalo sealing victory for Finland in their first ever major tournament game shortly before the hour mark. 

Denmark could have snatched a point with 16 minutes remaining, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's penalty was saved by Lukas Hradecky. 

Speaking to the media after the game, an emotional Hjulmand was full of praise for the way his players rallied around Eriksen. 

"It was a tough night," Hjulmand said. "We are all reminded what the most important thing in life is and that is to have valuable relations. 

"We have a group of players I can't praise enough. I couldn't be prouder of these people who take such good care of each other at such a time where one of my very, very dear friends is suffering.

"All of our thoughts and prayers are with Christian and his family right now. Christian is one of our best players and he's an even better person, so all my thoughts and all my positive energy go out to Christian."

The players only agreed to finish the game once they had been assured Eriksen was in a comfortable condition, with Hjulmand revealing they were also given the option of resuming the match on Sunday. 

"There was no pressure from UEFA to play tonight," he explained. "We knew we had two options. The players couldn't imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then having to get on the bus and come in again tomorrow. 

"Honestly, it was best to get it over with. Of course, you can't play a game with such feelings and what we tried to do was incredible."

Finland – who secured the win courtesy of their only effort on goal – have lost only one of their last eight competitive matches, picking up five victories and four clean sheets along the way. 

While pleased to seal an important three points, boss Markku Kanerva acknowledged it was a challenging occasion for his players. 

"It was a very emotional night for us," he said.

"First time in a major tournament and an opening game against Denmark in their home stadium. When we heard the national anthems, it was very emotional for us. And then what happened with Christian – a very dramatic and sad incident.

"And then finally, we get a good result from the game. Of course I am happy for that. Unbelievable. We are going to remember this for a long time for different reasons."

England have left "no doubt" in their reasoning for taking the knee and fans booing the team should "reflect on the message [they] are sending", the Football Association (FA) said on the eve of their Euro 2020 opener.

The Three Lions face Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, but it is anticipated that their pre-match anti-racism demonstration will again be met with opposition.

During pre-tournament friendlies against Austria and Romania in Middlesbrough, England took the knee and were booed by sections of their own supporters.

Opponents to the act have suggested it has links to political organisations, although Gareth Southgate and his team have repeatedly made clear their reasons for taking the knee.

It was a point the FA emphasised again as it prepared for the start of the campaign.

In a social media post, the FA said: "Tomorrow, our England senior men's team will begin their Euro 2020 campaign at our home, Wembley Stadium.

"Major tournaments don't come around often and, when they do, it's an opportunity to unite friends, families and the country. This collective support is what spurs our team on during challenging moments, and it gives them the best chance of succeeding.

"As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament. They are doing this as a mechanism of peacefully protesting against discrimination, injustice and inequality. This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents.

"This gesture of unity and fighting against inequality can be traced back as far as the 18th century. It is not new, and English football has made it very clear that it does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology. There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context.

"We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.

"Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together.

"They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them."

Widespread concern met the decision for Denmark and Finland to return to the pitch less than two hours after Christian Eriksen had first collapsed in Copenhagen on Saturday.

An alarming incident prompted serious fears for Eriksen's life, fears that were eased but not eradicated by positive updates on the midfielder's condition.

For those watching from afar, the swift restart could not have been anticipated. There was wonder instead for how Belgium and Russia could possibly play later.

The Belgium squad features Eriksen's Inter team-mate Romelu Lukaku and long-term Ajax and Tottenham colleagues Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

But, sure enough, confirmation was forthcoming of the resumption in Group B's first fixture, set for 20:30 CET, with Belgium's kick-off to follow as scheduled half an hour later.

Understandably, Denmark turned in a distracted display. Lacking the same enthusiasm as earlier, they fell to a 1-0 defeat that would usually have been considered a major upset. Few were thinking about Finland's historic result, minds focused instead on Eriksen.

Indeed, it was a similar story in Saint Petersburg, even if Russia made for accommodating hosts.

Lukaku profited from hapless Andrey Semenov defending and finished ruthlessly after 10 minutes. Rather than revel in his eighth tournament goal – the most of any Belgium player – the forward made for a nearby television camera.

"Chris," he bellowed, reaching the lens. "Chris, stay strong. I love you."

Eriksen occupied Lukaku's thoughts even at a moment of apparent elation, an action that backed up the words of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

"At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and [Eriksen] and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone," Ceferin said.

Further tributes will follow and it is difficult to imagine how that agonising Parken Stadium wait for family, friends, team-mates, opponents and fans, eager for any news at all as medical staff worked at length, does not overshadow the entire tournament.

Lukaku will hope there is at least time for some Belgian cheer before the Euros concludes at Wembley next month.

If Eriksen continues to recover, the Red Devils striker can allow his attention to return to the professional task at hand: finally delivering finals glory for his country.

Now or never is the popular verdict. Belgium entered this competition with a squad that boasts the most caps and ranks second oldest, behind only Sweden.

Lukaku is 28 and should play at Qatar 2022 and beyond, but some of his team-mates may not.

While the defence is undoubtedly ageing, the injury issues that are dogging other star names have become increasingly, frustratingly regular.

As Belgium reached the latter stages of Brazil 2014, Euro 2016 and Russia 2018 – only France also figured in the quarter-finals of all three tournaments – no outfield players started more matches than Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel (all 15 – tied with Alderweireld).

In 2020-2021, the trio were restricted to 11, 36 and 18 club starts respectively.

Hazard, having dealt with a series of muscle problems, started from the bench on Saturday. De Bruyne (orbital fracture) and Witsel (torn Achilles tendon) are both still recovering.

"Those are players who have something extra," said Dries Mertens, who took up one of the vacant attacking roles. "To not have three players like that, we're going to feel that, but we have to step up and be ready."

Leander Dendoncker stepped in for Witsel and said: "Axel has such a massive role in the squad, so it's logical we're talking about him. Kevin and Eden aren't here now either, and we're all talking about their absence. It's normal; they've earned it."

But it was Lukaku who ensured that absence was not felt. His clinical opener wrecked Russian dreams and might have been quickly followed by a second had Georgi Dzhikiya not expertly intervened. There were two minutes remaining when he belatedly hit the net again for Belgium's third, celebrated in more traditional fashion.

The Nerazzurri superstar has now been involved in 26 goals (22 goals, four assists) in his 19 games for Belgium since the World Cup.

Of Lukaku's nine finals goals, only one has arrived in the knockout stages, but this early effort was crucial in seizing control of the group. On this form, he will surely also add to that tally.

For all that this was an impressive win as Hazard featured sparingly and two key midfielders not at all, there is an argument – at least from those studying their wallcharts – Belgium might actually be better served finishing second in their pool. That could potentially mean no repeat of 2018, when they landed in the trickier half of the draw and met France in the last four. The same scenario is very possible again from first place.

That was not something for Lukaku to worry about on this occasion, though.

His friend's welfare was of primary concern, and then a talismanic outing to lift spirits just a little at the end of a tough day for football.

Romelu Lukaku sent his support to Christian Eriksen after setting Belgium on their way to a 3-0 victory Russia in their Euro 2020 opener on Saturday.

Lukaku's Inter team-mate Eriksen is awake in hospital and undergoing tests after collapsing during Denmark's encounter with Finland in Copenhagen earlier in a traumatic second day of the tournament.

Red Devils record goalscorer Lukaku said "Chris, I love you" into a television camera following his opening goal in the Group B match at Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Thomas Meunier scored Belgium's second in the first half and the impressive Lukaku added a late third as the top-ranked side in the world moved level on points with Finland, 1-0 winners over Denmark in a game that resumed following encouraging news on Eriksen.

 

Finland marked their first appearance at a major tournament with a 1-0 win over Denmark but their opening Euro 2020 Group B match was overshadowed by the collapse of Christian Eriksen. 

The match at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen was suspended shortly before half-time after Inter midfielder Eriksen collapsed to the ground with no one around him.

Team-mates and referee Anthony Taylor called for immediate help from medical staff, with the players forming a protective barrier around Eriksen while efforts were made to resuscitate him.

The 29-year-old was carried from the pitch, but positive news followed with the Danish Football Union stating Eriksen was "awake" and set for "further examinations" after being taken to hospital. 

Both sets of players decided to resume the game after more than 100 minutes away from the pitch, with Joel Pohjanpalo sealing an historic triumph for Finland shortly before the hour mark against an understandably deflated Denmark side, who missed a late penalty through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Denmark started on the front foot, with Jonas Wind, Hojbjerg and Eriksen forcing Lukas Hradecky into saves inside the opening 20 minutes. 

Thomas Delaney and Martin Braithwaite then fired off target as Denmark continued to push forward in search of an opener. 

The game was suspended for almost two hours following Eriksen's collapse, the players ultimately returning to finish the remaining few minutes of the first half before a short half-time interval. 

Despite Denmark's dominance, it was Finland who opened the scoring with their first attempt on goal, Pohjanpalo heading through the weak hands of Kasper Schmeichel in the 59th minute. 

Kasper Hjulmand's side had a golden opportunity to draw level 16 minutes from full-time when Paulus Arajuuri brought down Yussuf Poulsen in the penalty area, but Hojbjerg's tame spot-kick was kept out by Hradecky.

What does it mean? Finland's famous win will soon be forgotten 

Ordinarily, Finland beating a side 44 places above them in the world rankings in their first ever European Championship match would be a head-turning result. 

As it is, the win – achieved thanks to Finland's solitary effort on goal – will largely be forgotten following the distressing scenes involving Eriksen. 

The reports coming out of Denmark on Eriksen's condition while his team-mates played out the game were encouraging and their attention will now surely turn to his recovery rather than dwelling on an opening-day defeat. 

Hradecky thwarts dominant Denmark

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Hradecky made six saves to deny Denmark, the most important of which was to keep out Hojbjerg's penalty. That save meant he became only the third goalkeeper to save a penalty on their debut appearance in the European Championship after Przemyslaw Tyton in 2012 (for Poland against Greece) and Trols Rasmussen in 1988 (for Denmark against Spain).

Hojbjerg's spot-kick woe

Hojbjerg made more successful passes (78) than any player on the pitch and his 11 possession gains was only bettered by Daniel Wass (12), but the Tottenham midfielder was unable to net from the spot and secure what would have been an emotional point for his side.

Key Opta Facts:

- Finland have only lost one of their last eight competitive matches, picking up five victories and four clean sheets in the process (D2).
- Denmark have missed three of their last four penalties in major competitions (World Cup + Euros), having scored the previous five between 1984 and 1998.
- They have also failed to win eight of their nine opening matches at the European Championships (D3 L5).
- Pohjanpalo scored Finland's first ever goal at the European Championships with what was their first shot in the competition.
- He scored his 10th goal for Finland in what was his 43rd cap for his country – becoming one of only two players in their Euro 2020 squad to have netted 10+ goals for the national side (also Teemu Pukki, 30).
- Hradecky is only the third keeper to save a penalty on their debut appearance in the European Championships after Przemyslaw Tyton in 2012 (Poland v Greece) and Trols Rasmussen in 1988 (Denmark v Spain).

What's next?

Denmark face Group B heavyweights Belgium in Copenhagen on Thursday, while Finland take on Russia in St. Petersburg a day earlier.

Austria boss Franco Foda has a selection dilemma in Bucharest as he bids to deliver the country's first ever win at the European Championship.

No team have played more games at the Euros without earning at least one win than Austria, who have fallen short in all six of their past finals fixtures.

The Group C clash with North Macedonia on Sunday is one in which many expect Austria to prevail, but Foda must decide whether Marko Arnautovic, the team's star forward, starts the match.

Arnautovic has indicated he feels ready for a pivotal role after recovering from a thigh injury, but there is no certainty the 32-year-old will play from the start.

The former West Ham man, now with Shanghai Port, played half an hour for Austria in a friendly against Slovakia last Sunday but Foda may prefer a match-fit Sasa Kalajdzic to lead his attack.

Foda said in a pre-game news conference: "Ultimately, I have to make the decision about whether Marko is ready for 90 minutes or not."

A fit and firing Arnautovic's value to his country is obvious, having been directly involved in seven goals in his eight appearances during the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign (six goals, one assist).

Foda also kept North Macedonia guessing about where David Alaba will feature, the erstwhile Bayern Munich star and new Real Madrid recruit being a top performer both in defence and midfield.

"We have decided where he will play," Foda said, but gave no detail about that decision.

The Austria coach added: "We can make history, and we want to. We absolutely want to win and start the European Championship with a positive result. I have a good feeling."

North Macedonia are making their big-tournament debut as an independent nation and proud captain Goran Pandev said: "Believe that we are ready and we will do our best to make the public and the Macedonian people happy again."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austria - Marcel Sabitzer

Sabitzer is coming off a strong season in the German Bundesliga with RB Leipzig and has been linked with clubs including Roma and Arsenal. Austria have plenty of decent pedigree in their squad, but the man who scored eight goals and had three assists on league duty for his club side last term, creating 30 chances in all, is one of a handful with real star quality.

 

North Macedonia - Goran Pandev

At the age of 37, Pandev leads his country on the big stage, and what a moment it will be for him. A star forward in Serie A for over 15 years, notably with Lazio, Inter, Napoli and Genoa, Pandev may be past his prime but he will hope to lead by example at this tournament.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- These teams have only played each other twice before – both times in qualifying for this tournament – with Austria winning those matches 4-1 and 2-1.

- Including the play-off rounds, North Macedonia won each of their final three games in Euro 2020 qualifying – as many as they had won in their previous nine games of the qualifying campaign beforehand (D2 L4).

- Austria have yet to reach the knockout stages or even win a single game at the European Championships (D2 L4).

- Austria have won only one of their last 15 games at major tournaments (D5 L9 – World Cups and Euros), a 2-1 victory against United States in the group phase of the 1990 World Cup. They last reached the knockout stages of a major tournament at the 1954 World Cup, finishing third.

- Austria have scored only two goals in their six games at the European Championship finals; one of them was a penalty (Ivica Vastic vs Poland, Euro 2008). They have never been ahead at any point in those six games.

- North Macedonia's 1.25 goals scored per game during Euro 2020 qualifiers (15 in 12 games) was the joint-lowest average of any team to have qualified for the finals, alongside Wales.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hailed the "unity of the football family" in wishing a speedy recovery to Denmark star Christian Eriksen.

Inter midfielder Eriksen collapsed to the ground with no one around him shortly before half-time of the Euro 2020 Group B fixture between the Danes and Finland in Copenhagen.

Team-mates formed a protective shield around Eriksen as medical personnel rushed to resuscitate him, and the match was suspended.

There was later a positive update from the Danish Football Union (DBU), which said Eriksen was conscious and set for further medical examinations.

Players, pundits and fans alike united to rally around and send good thoughts to Eriksen, with UEFA chief Ceferin hailing that collective spirit.

"Moments like this put everything in life into perspective. I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith," the president's statement, released via UEFA, read.

"At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone. I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully."

Following consultations with both sets of players and coaching staffs, the fixture was resumed at 20:30 CET.

DBU football director Peter Moller later told Danish publication DR that Eriksen had been in contact with DBU officials and his team-mates.

Moller praised the "lightning fast treatment" Eriksen received at the stadium, which he said "saved" the former Tottenham playmaker.

UEFA has confirmed Denmark's Euro 2020 fixture against Finland will be completed on Saturday after Christian Eriksen was described as "awake" and in a "stable condition" in hospital.

The match was suspended shortly before half-time of the Group B fixture after Inter midfielder Eriksen collapsed to the ground with no one around him.

Team-mates and referee Anthony Taylor called for immediate help from medical staff, with the players forming a protective barrier around Eriksen while efforts were made to resuscitate him.

UEFA later said the match was suspended due to a "medical emergency", but positive news followed with the Danish Football Union stating Eriksen was conscious and set for "further examinations" after being taken to hospital.

European football's governing body confirmed the fixture in Copenhagen would resume at 20:30 CET, while the other fixture in the pool between Belgium and Russia was also given the green light to take place at 21:00 CET.

A statement from UEFA read: "The request made by players of both teams, UEFA has agreed to restart the match between Denmark and Finland tonight at 20:30 CET (TBC).

"The match has been suspended due to a medical emergency which involved Denmark’s Christian Eriksen. The player in now in hospital and in a stable condition. UEFA wishes Christian Eriksen a full and speedy recovery and wishes to thank both teams for their exemplary attitude."

UEFA said the remaining five minutes of the first half would take place, followed by a brief five-minutes for half-time, followed by the second half of the match.

Eriksen was sent messages from around the football world on social media following the concerning incident.

Former club Tottenham – where he spent six and a half years – posted on Twitter: "All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family."

Harry Kane played with Eriksen at Spurs and had been due to face the media alongside England manager Gareth Southgate on the eve of their meeting with Croatia at Wembley.

The news conference was cancelled and the Football Association said: "Our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union."

UEFA has confirmed Denmark's Euro 2020 fixture against Finland will be completed on Saturday after Christian Eriksen was described as "awake" and in a "stable condition" in hospital.

Christian Eriksen has been transferred to hospital and "stabilised" after collapsing on Saturday, UEFA has confirmed.

The Danish Football Union added that Inter midfielder Eriksen was "awake" and set for "further examinations" after he fell to the ground with no other player around him during the first half of his country's Euro 2020 opener against Finland in Copenhagen.

Team-mates and referee Anthony Taylor called for immediate help from medical staff, with the players forming a protective barrier around Eriksen while efforts were made to resuscitate him.

UEFA soon confirmed the match had been suspended "due to a medical emergency".

A further update followed and confirmed Eriksen was now in hospital, with a crisis meeting set for later on Saturday.

UEFA's statement read: "Following the medical emergency involving Denmark's player Christian Eriksen, a crisis meeting has taken place with both teams and match officials and further information will be communicated at 19:45 CET.

"The player has been transferred to the hospital and has been stabilised."

Eriksen was sent messages from around the football world on social media following the concerning incident.

Former club Tottenham – where he spent six and a half years – posted on Twitter: "All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family."

Harry Kane played with Eriksen at Spurs and had been due to face the media alongside England manager Gareth Southgate on the eve of their meeting with Croatia at Wembley.

The news conference was cancelled and the Football Association said: "Our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union."

Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland was suspended on Saturday after Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during the first half.

The Inter midfielder fell to the ground with no other player around him shortly before half-time in the goalless Group B clash in Copenhagen.

Eriksen's team-mates and referee Anthony Taylor called for immediate help from medical officials, who raced onto the pitch to treat the 29-year-old.

The players formed a protective barrier around Eriksen while efforts were made to resuscitate him.

Players from both teams were in notable distress on the field, as were supporters watching from the stands.

Taylor was seen consulting with both coaches, before the players were led from the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

UEFA then confirmed the match had been suspended "due to a medical emergency".

Gareth Bale is hopeful Wales can use their hard-fought 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their opening Euro 2020 match as a springboard to push on.

Kieffer Moore headed in 16 minutes from time to cancel out Breel Embolo's opener in Saturday's Group A clash at the Baku Olympic Stadium.

Switzerland managed double the number of shots than Wales and had a Mario Gavranovic goal ruled out by VAR late on, but Moore rescued the Dragons a potentially huge point.

Wales have now lost just one of their last 14 competitive games – against Belgium in March – and Bale is pleased with his side's attitude to battle back in the blistering Baku heat.

"Both teams tried to play. It was a little bit tense, but it's not a bad result and we take the positives," Bale told BBC Sport. "We wanted to win the game and had chances, but so did they.  

"When you go 1-0 down and you can crumble but we showed a lot of grit and character like always and we showed our class to fight back and get the goal.

"We worked very hard. It's hard in this heat. I'm proud of the boys. After the match we said we need to use this as a springboard.

"We now need to recover and move onto the next game."

That next game for Wales is once again in Baku against Turkey, who were beaten 3-0 against heavyweights Italy on Friday in the opening match of the tournament.

Like captain Bale, Wales' caretaker boss Rob Page believes his side can take confidence from the point gained against Switzerland.

"We wanted a positive start and it feels like a win in the changing room. We had to dig deep at the end and we had a bit of Lady Luck," he told BBC Sport.

"Turkey are a different opposition to what we've faced today, but we will have to be solid and well organised again.

"Italy have quality in abundance and we respect Turkey too. It's all about focusing on that now and we will be preparing for that test now.

"That's the foundations. If we need to dig in we will but we've proved we can play."

Moore's goal was his sixth for Wales in 18 appearances, four of those being scored with his head.

Page recalled the Cardiff City striker to his starting line-up in a big tactical decision that ultimately paid dividends.

"Kieffer has been terrific at international and club level," added Page.

"He's got a great touch and his link-up play is great. He's got all his attributes for a centre-forward and has given us the rewards today."

Switzerland are now unbeaten in their last six European Championship games in normal time, but Vladimir Petkovic's men had enough chances to pick up all three points against Wales.

Goalscorer Embolo, whose six shots was the most ever attempted by a Switzerland player in a single European Championship match, admits the draw is a disappointing result.

"I feel a bit of frustration as we had the chances for the second goal but didn't take them," he said.

"Perhaps we were too passive after the first goal. We deserved the win, but it turned out to be a draw and that's a pity.

"But we have to take the positives, rest up, focus on the next game and bring the good things from this match into the next one."

Mason Mount is relishing pitting his creative wits against the great Luka Modric when England take on Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener on Sunday.

Real Madrid playmaker Modric was influential as Croatia came from behind to beat Gareth Southgate's side 2-1 after extra time in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

A generation of exciting young talent will try to help England right that wrong at an expectant Wembley, with Chelsea star Mount one of the leading lights.

No Englishman created more goalscoring opportunities than the 22-year-old's 87 in the Premier League in 2020-21. Mount ended the top-flight campaign with six goals and five assists before laying on Kai Havertz's winner in the Champions League final against Manchester City.

Chelsea secured their place in the continental showpiece with a 3-1 aggregate semi-final win over Madrid, and Mount enlisted the help of club team-mate and Modric's international colleague Mateo Kovacic to secure a prized possession – the Ballon d'Or winner's shirt.

"Ever since he was in the Premier League with Tottenham, I have watched him quite closely," Mount said of Modric.

"Playing against him, it was weird because I had watched him so much. I kind of knew his moves and what he was going to do."

Speaking at a pre-match news conference, Modric reprised the row over Croatia's impression of English arrogance at Russia 2018 in the form of the "It's Coming Home" slogan – the chorus line from the Euro 96 song Three Lions, despite it largely being used in self-deprecation by England fans.

"That arrogance is not so much related to the players but the people around them, some of the journalists and commentators," he said.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England – Raheem Sterling

Southgate looks set to keep faith with Sterling, who only scored one of his 14 Manchester City goals this season after the end of February. If he sees off the claims of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish for a starting berth, it will be because of his fine form in international colours. Since Russia 2018, no England player has scored more goals from open play than Sterling's 11.

Croatia – Ivan Perisic

Perisic netted the equaliser when the sides met in Moscow and tends to revel on the big stage. The experienced Inter winger is one of three European players to have either scored or assisted in the past for major tournaments since Euro 2012, alongside Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- England are taking part in their 10th European Championship finals – no team has played as many games in the tournament without ever reaching the final (31).
- Croatia have lost against the eventual winner in three of their past four major tournaments: Spain at Euro 2012, Portugal at Euro 2016 and France in the final of the 2018 World Cup.
- England have never won their opening game at a European Championship (D5 L4). Croatia, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their five Euro openers (W4 D1).
- Harry Kane was the top scorer in Euro 2020 qualifying, netting in every one of England's eight matches (12 goals), becoming the first player to do this in a single qualification campaign for the Three Lions.
- Since the start of 2019-20, only Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25) has scored more Serie A goals for Milan than Ante Rebic (22).

Kieffer Moore headed home to earn Wales a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their opening Group A match at the Baku Olympic Stadium.

The Cardiff City striker was recalled to Wales' starting line-up for Saturday's clash and justified interim boss Rob Page's selection call by earning his side a crucial point.

Switzerland had won their previous six games and were on course for another victory when Breel Embolo guided in Xherdan Shaqiri's corner early in the second half.

However, Vladimir Petkovic's side could not hold on and were further frustrated late on when substitute Mario Gavranovic had a goal ruled out for offside.

The draw leaves Italy top of Group A following their 3-0 win over Turkey in Rome on Friday.

Wales started the match brightly and went close to opening the scoring 15 minutes in through a Moore header that Yann Sommer did well to push over the crossbar.

Danny Ward was called into action up the other end to deny Fabian Schar after the centre-back turned Shaqiri's corner on target with a smart flick.

Switzerland soon took control of possession and squandered another big chance before half-time when Haris Seferovic fired off target from seven yards once teed up by Embolo.

The two men combined early in the second half as Seferovic played in his team-mate to race through and force Ward into a second big save of the contest.

However, Embolo held off Connor Roberts from the subsequent corner and headed Shaqiri's delivery past Ward into the bottom-left corner.

Kevin Mbabu scuffed wide from a good position and Switzerland struggled to make more of their possession, which would come back to haunt them 16 minutes from time.

Joe Morrell sent in a cross from the right and Moore, a presence at both ends of the field throughout, glanced a header in to get Wales off the mark.

Gavranovic thought he had won the game for Switzerland moments after being introduced from the bench, but his left-footed strike was ruled out.

Georginio Wijnaldum explained he joined Paris Saint-Germain as they were "faster and more decisive" after talks with Barcelona stalled.

Wijnaldum's Liverpool contract expires at the end of the month and his next move to PSG has been confirmed.

But the Netherlands captain, who led his team with eight goals in Euro 2020 qualifying, was expected to link up with former Oranje coach Ronald Koeman at Barca.

Following weeks of speculation, though, there was no deal, allowing PSG to make their move.

Wijnaldum said on Saturday: "I negotiated with Barcelona for four weeks and unfortunately we didn't [agree].

"Paris Saint-Germain were faster and more decisive. And the project they have there appeals to me very much.

"It was a tough choice. I have to say that I too thought I would go to Barcelona, also because Barcelona was the only club that was really interested at the time.

"But we couldn't [agree] and with PSG we did."

Wijnaldum is moving on after playing 235 times for Liverpool in five years, scoring 22 goals and assisting 15, but his focus is now on the Euros.

Facing Ukraine first up on Sunday, the Netherlands are aiming to win a finals match at the competition for the first time since 2008.

"I'm very happy to have been able to arrange it before the European Championship," Wijnaldum said of his move.

"With the European Championship, you just want to be 100 per cent focused on the tournament. It was a hectic week, though, where I had to make choices.

"But I'm glad that this doesn't play during the European Championship anymore."

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