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permutations Why England might NOT want to win their final Euro 2020 Group D game at Wembley

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 Jack Grealish of England looks dejected following the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish of England looks dejected following the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish of England looks dejected following the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate and his England team are under-fire after their limp performance in the 0-0 draw against Scotland at Wembley, but that result may inadvertently work in their favour as they look to the knock-out stages of Euro 2020.

Victory against the Czech Republic in their final group game would ensure England top Group D and head into the last-16 of the competition in buoyant mood.

Yet they are likely to meet France, Germany or Portugal in that scenario, with the Germans back in the mix to make it through to the next round after a thrilling 4-2 win against Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese side.

Alternatively, if England were to draw against the Czech Republic, they would finish second in Group D and would face the runners-up from Group E, which could well set up a meeting with Sweden in Copenhagen on June 28th.

The subject was debated in the ITV Sport studio by Gary Neville and Graeme Souness, with the consensus suggesting Southgate's side may not get through a game with France, Germany or Portugal.

"The thought of playing France or Germany in round two is daunting," confirmed Neville.

"They (England) didn't react well to winning that first game (against Croatia) and they have to get themselves right for Tuesday.

"What England have to do is put a performance in. Performances will give them confidence. They were pragmatic and solid in the first game, last night they were really poor (against Scotland) and they have to lift themselves so they can be confident in round two, whoever they play."

Souness suggested England will be 'in trouble' if they were to take on one of the big-hitters in the round of 16, with their odds of winning Euro 2020 drifting after the limp display against the Scots.

"In the end, not enough to win but this is a tournament and it’s critical when you can’t win not to lose," said England manager Gareth Southgate as he reflected on the Scotland game.

"That of course feels difficult in the last 15 minute of a game like tonight where fans are desperate for you to go forward and abandon all shape because of course it’s Scotland, it feels like a unique occasion.

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Gareth Southgate took a broader view of the tournament after England were held to a draw by Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gareth Southgate took a broader view of the tournament after England were held to a draw by Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gareth Southgate took a broader view of the tournament after England were held to a draw by Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

"But we have to still approach it in the context that a point is still an important step towards qualification and ultimately qualification is the first objective for us.

The England boss certainly has plenty to mull over in the coming days, with the ineffective attacking display spearheaded by Harry Kane among the main talking points.

Southgate was quick to point to the collective as the focus turns to ending Group D on a high against the Czech Republic, knowing victory will see them through as pool winners.

"We know where we sit in the group," he added. "We know we have a lot of work to do to improve our performances.

"But also we know in the context of qualification that four points from two matches, we're in a strong position so we have to make sure we get the third game right and make the right decisions around that.

"Of course there's always fallout from any England performance that isn't at the level you want or doesn't get the result you want.

"But we are in the middle of a tournament, we are in the middle of a qualification group.

"We totally understand the reaction tonight but our first objective is to qualify and we're still on track to do that."

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