Some news from the Copa América: Lionel Messi he set to become Argentina’s appearance record maker by scoring two goals in a 4-1 win against Bolivia to set up the quarterfinals against Ecuador. Elsewher Uruguay beat Paraguay 1-0 and will meet Colombia in the quarterfinals.
Anyway, I keep going. For the inconveniently scheduled start of 5pm tonight. All the hype and weight of the story aside, this on paper has always seemed the most intriguing of the eight second-round ties. England are nominally favorites, but their ability to find new cogs is still in doubt after their low-key group stage, against an unpredictable Germany that has already been through the gamut of performance levels, for better and for worse.
They have injury questions, with three of their fittest players, Robin Gosens, Antonio Rüdiger and Ilkay Gundogan, doubtful for tonight. Gareth Southgate has yet to make a call on whether to play Mason Mount on his way out of self-isolation, and whether to stick with the team that beat the Czech Republic or remember Phil Foden and Kieran Trippier.
Here’s Barney Ronay’s Scene Creator:
And Philipp Lahm’s pre-match assessment is that both sides are in transition, but that England has more stability:
Good morning to everybody. Have we already regained our collective breath? I had planned to start today’s live blog by repeating Des Lynam’s message, “You may have heard there is a soccer game tonight,” but let’s put that down for now. You may have heard that there was two soccer matches last night, two fast-paced, puzzling, exciting and surprising contests for all ages. Various English voices have called it the best day in televised football since the 1990 FA Cup semi-finals. And those of us who remember those two classics are in no position to argue.
The result is that the world champions are out. France was defeated by Switzerland just as it threatened to break loose, and so far it has rarely seen failures in defense and temperament that proved their undoing against an inspired Swiss team. They will face the quarter-finals against Spain, which a week ago would have been most people’s last answer to the question: “Which Euro 2020 team will score 10 in its next two games?” They also threw a 3-1 lead, but rallied to eliminate Croatia in extra time, and Álvaro Morata took his chances where Kylian Mbappé then ruined his – another phrase that would have seemed barely plausible a week ago.
Anyway, before we talk England-Germany (and Sweden-Ukraine), you’ll want a reaction Monday night.
Nick Ames was burning midnight oil in Bucharest and brings us this reaction from Didier Deschamps:
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism