Paul Merson urges Gareth Southgate to make two changes for England vs the Netherlands

A picture of Marc Guehi at Euro 2024
Marc Guehi missed England’s quarter-final with suspension (Photo: Getty)

England will win Euro 2024 but Gareth Southgate should ‘take a chance’ and make two changes to his team for the semi-final against the Netherlands.

That is the opinion of former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson, ahead of the Three Lions’ huge clash against Oranje on Wednesday night in Dortmund.

Southgate has been reluctant to tinker with his starting XI throughout the tournament and will be even more hesitant after his side put in their best performance to date in the quarter-final win over Switzerland.

Nevertheless, it was far, far from a perfect display and it is anticipated that there will be at least one change in personnel, with centre-back Marc Guehi returning from suspension in the place of Ezri Konsa.

But while Merson agrees with this switch, he believes another should be made, telling Sky Sports: ‘I think Guehi will be unbelievably unlucky if he doesn’t get back in.

‘Konsa’s done well don’t get me wrong but I’d still go with Guehi. In my opinion he’s been outstanding.

‘We have short memories, in the first four games he was our best player so I think you go back to him. Konsa’s done great to do what he’s done and you’ve got him ready if he needs to be.

A picture of Ezri Konsa at Euro 2024
Ezri Konsa did well in Guehi’s absence (Photo: Getty)

‘And I would definitely take a chance on [Luke] Shaw now.’

The Manchester United star finally returned from a lengthy injury in the quarter-final by coming off the bench for Kieran Trippier and, though his appearance was brief, the team looked instantly more cohesive with a natural left-back in it.

Shaw says he feels fit enough to play from the start, but it remains to be seen whether Southgate will risk him, while he must also ponder whether to stick with the 3-4-3 formation or revert back to 4-2-3-1.

England star Luke Shaw at Euro 2024
Luke Shaw has finally returned from injury (Photo: Getty)

Regardless of what the manager chooses, Merson is, and has always been, convinced that the Three Lions will not only beat the Netherlands but also France or Spain in the final to lift their first major trophy since 1966.

‘They’ll win it! I’ve said it since day one, it’ll be France or England who win this tournament and I haven’t changed my mind!’ he added.

France and England haven’t hit the heights, nowhere near, and they’re both in the semi-final of a major tournament. It just shows you how good these two teams are to get where they’ve got without even getting out of third gear really.

‘England win the tournament in my opinion because their squad is so amazing, they make subs and the four or five players that come on don’t weaken the team, it stays the same. Absolutely amazing!’



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