best tracker ‘You don’t get hundreds of opportunities’ warns Southgate as Ivan Toney gets chance to gatecrash England’s Euros party – Techss

‘You don’t get hundreds of opportunities’ warns Southgate as Ivan Toney gets chance to gatecrash England’s Euros party

IVAN TONEY will get the chance to gatecrash England’s Euro 2024 squad on Tuesday.

The Brentford striker, who returned from an eight-month betting ban in January, will start against Belgium at Wembley as Harry Kane has returned to Bayern Munich with an injury.

Ivan Toney will look to stake his claim as England’s back-up striker against Belgium
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Ollie Watkins struggled to make a significant impact in the loss to Brazil
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Watkins has far superior Premier League stats than Toney so far this season

Asked if it is a big chance for Toney, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate said: “You can’t hide that fact. He knows. It would be his first start so you’ve got to bear that in mind.

“With England, that’s the landscape — you don’t get hundreds of opportunities.

“I think every player recognises that’s the world we live in.”

One-cap Toney, 28, is up against Ollie Watkins in the race for a spot in Germany this summer.

The Aston Villa striker struggled against Brazil on Saturday, putting Toney under even greater focus.

Southgate said: “He’s a confident guy, he comes in on the back of a good run of form with his club.

“He will be on the field on Tuesday, no question.

“The quality of his football can be underestimated. His passing, his link play.

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Toney unlikely to let opportunity slide

By Charlie Wyett

IVAN TONEY will be backing himself to beat Ollie Watkins in the race to Euro 2024.

Because when it comes to supreme self-confidence, others might call it extraordinary arrogance, Toney gives Zlatan Ibrahimovic — football’s ultimate bighead — a run for his money.

If, heaven forbid, something did happen to Harry Kane ahead of the summer tournament in Germany, Brentford striker Toney would likely see himself the only viable alternative as a replacement No 9.

Equally, if England found themselves in another shootout at this year’s final in Berlin on July 14, most would want the bloke who has scored 35 of his 38 career penalties to be one of Gareth Southgate’s takers.

Aston Villa forward Watkins, 28, is enjoying the best season of his career with 22 goals in all competitions but his Euros trial did not go so well with a disappointing performance in the 1-0 defeat by Brazil on Saturday.

Against Belgium on Monday, Toney is unlikely to make the same mistake.

A strong performance could see the Brentford ace continue on his journey from footballing outcast to, potentially, a national hero this summer.

“You look at him being a big guy but he’s not just a target man.”

Toney, who has scored four times since returning from his ban, is deadly at penalties and has scored 28 out of 30 spot-kicks.


Southgate added: “It’s a great asset to have.

“Confidence is crucial, especially for forward players. That swagger, that self-belief is crucial.

“All of the top forward players have it.”

Southgate will make a number of changes for the Belgium game.

Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite could win his first cap in central defence while Jarrod Bowen is set to start out wide.

Jordan Henderson has struggled with a muscle problem but could start.

Skipper Kane was not fit for the 1-0 loss to Brazil after injuring his ankle while playing for Bayern and is back in Munich receiving treatment.

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