HomeEuro 2024EnglandRobbie Savage: Why Luke Shaw Must Start Against Netherlands

Robbie Savage: Why Luke Shaw Must Start Against Netherlands

Robbie Savage on England’s Euro 2024 Semi-Final: Luke Shaw, Southgate’s Strategy, and Predictions

The buzz around England’s semi-final clash against the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 is palpable, and former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage has shared his insights in an exclusive interview with Planet Sport Bet. Savage’s thoughts on the game, Gareth Southgate’s managerial prowess, and his predictions offer a compelling narrative for fans eagerly anticipating this high-stakes encounter.

Luke Shaw Over Kieran Trippier: A Tactical Advantage

Robbie Savage has firmly stated his preference for Luke Shaw to start over Kieran Trippier on the left flank for England. “I’d start Shaw on the left over Kieran Trippier because he’s got minutes under his belt now and he’s been training,” Savage told Planet Sport Bet. He believes Shaw’s presence can effectively counteract the attacking threat of Denzel Dumfries. “If Shaw plays against the Netherlands he can push Denzel Dumfries back, because we know Dumfries likes to attack. I thought the 3-4-2-1 formation worked for England against Switzerland, I’d stick with that.”

Photo: IMAGO

Shaw’s ability to balance defensive duties with forward thrusts provides a strategic edge, especially against a team known for its attacking prowess. This move could limit Dumfries’ influence on the game and allow England to control the tempo.

Predicting England’s Path to Victory

Savage is optimistic about England’s chances, predicting a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Netherlands, possibly extending into extra time. “It is going to be a tough test against the Netherlands but I think England will win 2-1, potentially after extra time. Even if it goes to penalties, I’d fancy England to win it because of the quality of their penalty takers,” he remarked. Savage’s confidence in England’s depth and penalty-taking abilities is notable, especially recalling their shootout success against Switzerland without their star Harry Kane.

“Even if it went to the sixth or seventh penalty, England have great strength in depth when it comes to spot kicks,” Savage added, underscoring the robustness of Southgate’s squad in pressure situations.

Southgate’s Strategic Acumen

Gareth Southgate has faced his share of criticism during the tournament, yet Savage believes the England manager deserves substantial credit for guiding the team to another semi-final. “Gareth Southgate has come under some criticism but he continues to find a way,” Savage said. “He always finds a way to win games in tournament football, whether that be in extra time or on penalties.”

Photo: IMAGO

Southgate’s ability to adapt and make crucial decisions at pivotal moments has been pivotal. Savage defends Southgate’s often-criticised substitution timing, emphasising that the results speak for themselves. “Southgate and his management team have clearly made the right decisions because they’re in the semi-finals. Whether or not those decisions have come when people wanted them to or later, whatever they’ve done so far has taken them to the semis. He knows what he’s doing and his changes have paid off.”

Looking Ahead to the Final

Should England overcome the Netherlands, Savage believes they stand a real chance of clinching the Euros. “He deserves huge credit for getting England to another semi-final and I think he’ll take them to the final. If they do get there then it’s a one-off game, and I think that gives them a real possibility of winning the Euros. It would be a remarkable achievement.”

The optimism surrounding England’s campaign is tempered by the recognition of the challenges ahead. However, with Southgate’s strategic nous and the squad’s depth, Savage’s belief in a potential historic triumph resonates strongly.

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