Dusan Vlahovic believes Serbia can take confidence from England's 1-0 defeat to Iceland ahead of their Euro 2024 opener in Gelsenkirchen. 

England concluded their preparations for the tournament with a disappointing display at Wembley, with Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson's early goal proving to be the difference.

Vlahovic, who scored 16 goals for Juventus in Serie A, is hopeful of carrying his goal-scoring exploits to Germany for Serbia's first European Championship as an independent nation.

The 24-year-old is set to feature in his second major tournament for his country, having been part of the side who suffered an early exit from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

And Vlahovic believes the Eagles can upset Gareth Southgate's side, who are among the favourites to win the competition. 

“No one is invincible,” Vlahovic said ahead of Sunday's encounter. “We looked at the match against Iceland and there are things that can be copied from them, because they beat them at Wembley in front of 80,000 people.

"Everything is possible. (England) are the favourites, maybe the biggest in the tournament, but we believe in ourselves and we are going step by step to present ourselves in the best light.

"This way we have a calmer environment and can prepare more serenely for the upcoming matches."

Following their encounter against the Three Lions, Serbia travel to Munich to face Slovenia before concluding their group campaign against Denmark. 

Toni Kroos calmed Germany's nerves ahead of Friday's historic Euro 2024 thrashing of Scotland by giving an inspirational team talk, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Germany recorded the largest ever win in the opening game of a European Championship at the Allianz Arena, putting 10-man Scotland to the sword as Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scored.

Kroos has come out of international retirement to represent Germany at their home tournament ahead of calling time on his glittering career, and he produced a metronomic midfield performance.

The 34-year-old completed 99 per cent of his passes against Scotland (101/102), the highest completion rate on record (since 1980) of any player to attempt 100 or more passes in a Euros match.

Joshua Kimmich was the only player to match his four chances created, while 36 of his passes entered the final third as Scotland were penned back from the off.

 

Before dominating the midfield battle, Kroos brought an air of calm to an excitable Germany dressing room, Nagelsmann has revealed.

"He is very important, just like everyone else," Nagelsmann said in his news conference when asked about Kroos. "He's very experienced and calm.

"The team were really loud and he said a few quiet words that were really powerful. He is part of the group, but that experience is what makes him different. 

"With his record, some would have problems being accepted, but he is not arrogant, he is very important for the team and a pole of calmness.

"But despite all of his successes and status, we see him as part of the group."

Germany take on Hungary in their second Group A game in Stuttgart on Wednesday, before facing Switzerland in Frankfurt on June 23.

Belgium are not concerned about the lack of people touting them as one of the favourites to win Euro 2024, according to full-back Timothy Castagne.

Belgium's so-called 'golden generation' have flattered to deceive at recent tournaments, a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup being their best finish at any competition since they were runners-up at Euro 1980.

They were stunned by Wales in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, beaten by Italy at the same stage at Euro 2020 and succumbed to a group-stage exit at the last World Cup in Qatar.

They topped their qualification group for Euro 2024 – the sixth successive campaign in which they have done so – and are now unbeaten in 40 World Cup/Euros qualifiers (35 wins, five draws).

But with Thibaut Courtois left out of Domenico Tedesco's squad and Eden Hazard retiring in the aftermath of their 2022 World Cup campaign, few are tipping the Red Devils for success in Germany.

That does not concern Castagne, who told reporters: "The group is a good mix of experience and youth. 

"I'm not here to prove to you that we have a chance, it has to happen on the pitch.

"We don't care if the outside world see us as a favourite. The most important thing is that we believe that we can achieve something beautiful."

Prior to a ball being kicked at this year's tournament, the Opta supercomputer gave Belgium a 4.7 per cent chance of winning their first major trophy, with seven nations seen as more likely champions.

Belgium's preparations for Monday's Group E opener against Slovakia, meanwhile, have been affected by fitness concerns. 

Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Arthur Theate have been nursing knocks, while Axel Witsel – who is also expected to be used as a centre-back – trained alone on Friday.

"I'm not worried about the fact that there are some absentees. Everyone who will play is ready, there is enough quality," Castagne added.

"We give it our all (in training), we were not extra careful because there are a lot of injured players. But of course, we won't do stupid things. There's no point in making unnecessary tackles."

Kylian Mbappe will always put the team first and is ready to lead from the front as France prepare to open their Euro 2024 campaign against Austria, says Didier Deschamps.

Having scored 44 goals in his final season with Paris Saint-Germain before sealing his long-awaited move to Real Madrid, Mbappe will captain his country at a first major tournament, following Hugo Lloris' international retirement.

Les Bleus are among the favourites but the same was true when they crashed out in the last 16 at Euro 2020, losing to Switzerland in a penalty shoot-out.

Mbappe failed to score at that tournament, but his coach is certain he is in top condition ahead of Monday's game in Dusseldorf.

"He is always at the centre of things. That won't change," Deschamps told The Athletic of Mbappe. 

"He will not do anything that goes against the collective interest. It won't be any problem. He is in very good shape, very happy, and concentrated on working hard. 

"The most important thing is that he has the greatest possible freedom. My objective is to put him in the best conditions, and put the team in the best conditions, so that he can be as effective as possible."

Asked about Mbappe's leadership qualities, Deschamps continued: "He speaks but he is not there to be overbearing. 

"If you are not with him, you don’t see how he is with his partners on a daily basis. He has always been part of a collective project, even if he is an extraordinary player who is able to make a difference on his own."

Opponents Austria have been touted by some as a potential surprise package after impressing in their first qualification campaign under Ralf Rangnick, finishing just one point behind Belgium.

"If we're complete, then we're a team that is very hard to beat," the former Manchester United boss said. "We're able to compete with anyone at a high level. 

"We saw that during friendlies against Germany and Italy [both 2-0 wins], but also during the qualifiers against Sweden [2-0 and 3-1 victories]. 

"We're not going to the Euros just to participate. We have faith in ourselves and believe we can qualify for the next round."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Austria – Marcel Sabitzer

Sabitzer was involved in six goals in seven appearances during Euro 2024 qualifying (four goals, two assists), the most of any Austria player.

The Borussia Dortmund man also created the most big chances (four) and accumulated the highest expected assists figure (1.6 xA) of any Austrian.

France – Kylian Mbappe 

Across the last three major international tournaments (2018 World Cup, Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup), Mbappe has scored 12 goals. Harry Kane is the only European player to match that tally.

However, all of those goals have come at World Cups. He failed to convert any of his 14 shots at Euro 2020 and also missed the decisive spot-kick as France lost to Switzerland on penalties. He will be desperate to atone at this tournament, starting on Monday.

MATCH PREDICTION – FRANCE WIN

France enter Euro 2024 as one of the favourites, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 19.1 per cent chance of lifting the trophy before the tournament began. They are expected to live up to that billing here.

Les Bleus have reached the final at three of their last four major tournaments, being losing finalists at Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup and winning the 2018 World Cup.

They plundered 29 goals in their eight qualifiers, with 14 different players getting on the scoresheet for them (excluding own goals) – the largest spread of any nation. 

With the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann – who has 18 goal contributions at major tournaments since the start of Euro 2016 (11 goals, seven assists) – supporting Mbappe, they should have too much for Austria.

Austria have only won one of their last 10 matches against France in all competitions (two draws, seven defeats), triumphing 3-1 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier in September 2008.

The teams have, however, managed one win apiece from their two previous tournament meetings. Austria claimed a 3-2 victory at the 1934 World Cup, and France won 1-0 at the 1982 competition.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Austria – 15.5% 

France – 65.8%

Draw – 18.7%

Phil Foden could be the Euro 2024 player of the tournament, according to England and Manchester City team-mate John Stones.

Foden scored 19 league goals and added eight assists this season as he lifted a sixth Premier League title with City at the age of just 24.

His efforts saw him named Premier League and Manchester City player of the year, and he now turns his attention to international football as England head to Germany looking to claim a first major tournament victory since winning the World Cup in 1966.

Stones has full confidence in his national and club team-mate's ability to play a crucial role for the Three Lions in Germany.

When asked if Foden could end up winning player of the tournament honours at the Euros, Stones told reporters: "Yes. I'm biased, [but] I think he's absolutely incredible.

"First how he plays the game, so silky playing like he's in the park.

"I feel like he has brought so much to his game, goals, maturity, knowing of situations, his pressing.

"This season has been incredible for him and I hope and I'm sure he will bring that to the tournament."

Stones believes Foden is "100 per cent" among world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham and feels England's attacking prowess alongside Foden could somewhat take the pressure off him.

"I think it probably suits Phil that maybe that [spotlight] is not all on him," Stones added. "We all know the quality that he's got, what he can bring and does for the team.

"I think in these occasions, it's where it brings it out of you and maybe it's time to show the world what he can really do."

Kieran Trippier echoed his fellow Three Lions defender's sentiments on Foden, saying: "To be honest with you, I can't pick out individuals, because everybody has been quality, but obviously Phil Foden is Phil Foden. He's always one of my favourite players.

"With Phil, I could walk back into the camp and he's got a ball at his feet. He's obsessed with football.

"Everybody sees him on the pitch, but what people don't see in training is his vision, his technique, and his ability is frightening."

Lionel Messi believes that Valentin Carboni has the ability to follow in his footsteps as Argentina's next star following their 4-1 victory over Guatemala. 

Messi scored twice to take his international total to 108 goals as La Albiceleste concluded their Copa America preparations with a comfortable display in Maryland.

Argentina came from behind to secure the triumph after Lisandro Martinez's own-goal gave Guatemala their first-ever goal against their opponents inside the opening five minutes.

"It cost us the first few minutes, Messi began. "We faced a team that was well positioned at the back. It was an opponent that was difficult to get into, but we were able to find a way around," Messi began.

"It is going to be more and more difficult for us; nothing is going to be easy for us. But we're going to try again."

Argentina took the lead before half-time as Carboni was fouled inside the area by Nicolas Samayoa, with Lautaro Martinez stepping up to score his first of the evening. 

Carboni has impressed in Serie A with Monza this season, scoring two goals and providing four assists, resulting in his first senior call-up from Lionel Scaloni in March. 

The 19-year-old started his first game for Argentina in the win over Guatemala, and Messi believes he has a bright future on the international stage.

"He has a present and a great future; we have to take advantage of it," said Messi. "I had already seen him in the U-20 team, but now he has changed, he has improved a lot.

"The kid is very good, more educated and with a great quality. There are also others who are good and deserve to be seen."

La Albiceleste start their Copa America campaign on June 21 against Canada in Atlanta, hoping to secure a record 16th triumph at the competition. 

"We are going to give our best," Messi started."We continue to want to continue trying to win more things.

"It's not easy, the games are hard, locked, but we will seek to achieve more and more," Messi said.

Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks will "believe until the end" after they kept their NBA title hopes alive with a Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics headed to Dallas on Friday with the chance to clinch a first NBA Championship since 2008, up 3-0 in the series and looking to get the job done on the road.

However, Dallas dominated on their home court, cruising to a 122-84 blowout victory that means Boston will have to wait until at least Monday to seal a record-breaking 18th NBA title.

No team has ever come from 3-0 down in an NBA playoff series, but Doncic says his Mavericks team will not let that deflate their hopes of pulling off a hugely unlikely comeback.

"Like I said at the beginning of the series, it's first to four," Doncic told reporters. "We're going to believe until the end.

"So we've just got to keep going. I have big belief in this team that we can do it."

Doncic was facing criticism heading into Game 4 after fouling out in the latter stages of the previous contest, but he led the way with 29 points on Friday to help his team ease to victory.

Kyrie Irving believes Doncic proved the doubters wrong with his Game 4 showing, saying: "I think he made a few people eat their words in a healthy way.

"I think what you're seeing is him just taking accountability as best he can at this point in his life. He's a young person, still trying to figure it out. I give him that grace. 

"I think it's just lessons being learned. When he is locked in like that, not paying attention to the refs, he's a huge, impactful player for us and a great leader for us. We want him to stay consistent on that and not be too hard on himself either."

The Boston Celtics must "reassemble" after missing the chance to clinch the NBA Championship on Friday, says Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics headed into Game 4 on the road at the Dallas Mavericks looking to complete the sweep and seal their first title since 2008.

However, they were outplayed by their hosts, slumping to a 122-84 blowout loss to end their 10-match playoff winning run and leave them with work to do if they are to get over the finishing line.

The Celtics now head home with the opportunity to get the job done on Monday, and Brown has called upon his team-mates to bounce back from Friday's 38-point defeat.

"These are the moments that can make you or break you," Brown told reporters.

"We have to reassemble. We have to look at it and learn from it, and then we've got to embrace it and attack it.

"It's going to be hard to do what we're trying to do. We didn't expect anything to be easy, but it's no reason to lose our head."

Dallas dominated from start to finish in Game 3, holding an 11-point lead just nine minutes into the contest and never looking back as they stamped out any hopes of a Boston comeback.

Brown praised the Mavericks for their response to losing the first three games of the series, saying: "Give credit to Dallas.

"I think they played hard physically, and then they dominated the glass. I think that was the key that put a lot of pressure on us.

"And then we didn't make shots tonight, and I think that's where, you know, we allowed them to play free, once we get them multiple opportunities to make shots, and then also we didn't hit shots on the other end.

"We're going to look at the film and see where we can get better, and then go from there."

Tabraiz Shamsi was "relieved" as his heroics helped South Africa edge to a one-run victory over Nepal at the T20 World Cup in Kingstown.

Nepal looked on the verge of a shock victory, needing two from the final ball to secure the win. However, Ghulsan Jha was run out at the non-striker's end as South Africa came through unscathed to make it four wins from four at the tournament.

Despite Ottniel Baartman bowling the final over, it was Shamsi's 4-19 that proved crucial in South Africa getting over the line, including two wickets in the 18th over to turn the game back in his team's favour.

The spinner was thankful South Africa avoided an unlikely defeat, telling reporters: "[I am] definitely relieved.

"The team is standing up to the pressure and that's great to see."

Proteas captain Aiden Markram praised the efforts of Nepal, whose narrow defeat means they are eliminated from the competition with one game to spare in Group D.

"You have to give Nepal a lot of credit," Markram said. "Throughout the game they put us under a lot of pressure, and it shows the quality they have."

While Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel was disappointed in the defeat, he also took pride in how his team fared against one of the tournament favourites.

"I'm very proud of the unit, the way we bowled and batted," Paudel stated. "We were very close but a little far."

Ludvig Aberg emphasised the importance of staying "disciplined and patient" after he took the sole lead of the US Open on Friday.

Aberg heads into the weekend with a one-shot advantage after carding a one-under 69, backing up an impressive 66 in his first round to leave him five under par at the top of the standings.

It leaves Aberg in a great position to become the second US Open debutant to win the tournament and the first since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

To achieve that, though, Aberg says he must remain calm, telling Sky Sports: "It's hard, but it's not supposed to be easy.

"It's what we expect coming into a US Open, even though it's my first one.

"I've had a lot of good discussions with my caddie Joe about course management and about trying to stay disciplined and patient.

"It's not easy, but I feel like we've done a great job of that so far."

Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy held the joint lead heading into day two after both carding five-under 65s on Thursday.

However, McIlroy shot a disappointing 72 for his second round, while Cantlay's 71 leaves him as one of three players one shot behind Aberg, alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Thomas Detry.

The soaring temperatures have proved testing conditions for players and are expected to continue over the rest of the tournament.

Cantlay is predicting a difficult final two rounds, though he also said he was happy with the position he is in.

"I think this golf course is going to play very challenging over the weekend, especially with the forecast that we have," Cantlay told reporters.

"So I think being smart and being patient, it's inevitable there's going to be some mistakes made, but that's just part of playing a US Open."

Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez scored twice for Argentina as they concluded their Copa America preparations with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Guatemala. 

Argentina found themselves behind inside four minutes when Lisandro Martinez's own goal handed Guatemala their first-ever goal against La Albiceleste.

However, Messi, who was featuring for the 182nd time for his country, levelled the contest eight minutes later as goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen's poor clearance fell kindly into his path.

Lionel Scaloni's team were awarded a penalty just before half-time as Nicolas Samayoa fouled Valentin Carboni, with Martinez stepping from 12 yards to score. 

Messi and Martinez combined for Argentina's third goal, with the latter doubling his tally after he was picked out by his team-mate in the area.

Messi put the result beyond doubt late on, lofting the ball over Hagen after latching onto a fine pass from his former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, Angel Di Maria. 

Argentina kick off their Group A campaign against Canada on June 21 before facing Chile and Peru in their quest to retain their Copa America title. 

Data Debrief: Messi and Martinez make light work of minnows

Guatemala were simply no match for their illustrious opponents at FedEx Field, managing only four attempts and getting none of those on target, mustering 0.18 expected goals.

Argentina finished with 3.07 xG, with Martinez (1.47) and Messi (1.3) responsible for the majority of that figure. Between them, they had 13 shots, nine more than Guatemala managed as a team.

Tiger Woods hinted that he may have played his final US Open after failing to make the cut on Friday.

Woods shot three over in his second round having carded a four-over 74 on Thursday to leave him at seven over par, two shots off the cut line.

It means Woods has now either failed to make the cut or withdrawn from six of his last nine major tournaments, and at 48-years-old and having faced a host of injury problems, it appears the 15-time major champion's glittering career is nearing its conclusion.

After Friday's disappointing exit from the major he has won three times previously, Woods insinuated that it may well have been the last time he plays in the US Open.

Woods told reporters: "In order to win a golf tournament, you have to make the cut. I can't win the tournament from where I'm at, so it certainly is frustrating. 

"I thought I played well enough to be up there in contention. It just didn't work out.

"As far as my last Open Championship or US Open Championship, I don't know what that is. It may or may not be.

"I've only got one more tournament this season. Even if I win the British Open, I don't think I'll be in the [FedEx Cup] playoffs. [There is] just one more event and then I'll come back whenever I come back."

Nepal came to within two runs of a famous victory over South Africa as the Proteas edged a thrilling encounter in Kingstown to remain unbeaten at the T20 World Cup. 

Sompal Kami knew that two runs from the final ball of the match would secure an unlikely triumph, but batting partner Ghulsan Jha was run out at the non-striker's end to conclude their first meeting in international cricket. 

South Africa were restricted to 115-7 with opener Reeza Hendricks producing 43 runs from 49 balls, ultimately handing the initiative to their opponents to keep their Super 8s hopes alive.

Nepal would last until the eighth over before losing Kushal Bhurtel and Rohit Paudel in three balls, but the Rhinos would steady the ship, leading to a nail-biting finish. 

However, Tabraiz Shamsi (4-19) struck twice in a game-changing 18th over, aided by Ottniel Baartman denying seven runs in the final over to decide the tie. 

South Africa face the United States in Antigua on June 19, while Nepal search for their first win of the tournament as they take on Bangladesh in their final Group D game.

Meanwhile, New Zealand secured their first win of their T20 World Cup campaign with relative ease, beating Uganda by nine wickets at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The Black Caps exit from the tournament had already been confirmed following Afghanistan's seven-wicket triumph over Papua New Guinea, exiting a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014.

Trent Boult dictated the early pace of the encounter, taking two wickets inside the first over as their opponents quickly saw five wickets fall for just 15 runs.

Kenneth Waiswa was the only batter for the Cricket Cranes to reach double figures, as wickets from Tim Southee (3-4) and Mitchell Santer (2-8) in successive balls saw Uganda all out for 40. 

Kane Williamson's side faced just 33 balls on their way to victory, as Devon Conway scored an unbeaten 22 from 15 balls to win the contest ahead of their final Group C fixture against the Barramundis. 

Luis Gil won his ninth straight decision and Alex Verdugo homered and drove in four runs against his former team as the New York Yankees became the first team to 50 wins with an 8-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Gil allowed one run and four hits over five innings with four walks and six strikeouts in a season-high 104-pitch outing. The rookie is 9-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 11 starts since a loss at Toronto on April 15.

New York’s bullpen pitched one-hit ball with eight strikeouts over the final four innings.

Verdugo, who spent the previous four seasons with Boston before he was traded to the Yankees in December, hit the first pitch he saw from Brayan Bello for a two-run homer in the first inning, doubled home a run in the fifth and added an RBI single in the ninth.

Verdugo matched a career high with four RBIs, done twice earlier this season and three times with the Red Sox.

Bello was tagged for five runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Jose Trevino also homered for the major league-best Yankees (50-22), who won for the 13th time in 16 games. 

Bohm lifts Phillies over Orioles in 11th

Alec Bohm ripped a two-run double in the top of the 11th inning shortly after a 71-minute rain delay, and the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3.

After the Orioles intentionally walked Bryce Harper to put runners at first and second with one out, Bohm followed with a drive to left-center that eluded Austin Hays that scored both runners.

Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a home run and Rafael Marchan hit his first of the season for the NL East-leading Phillies, who bounced back from consecutive losses at Boston to take the opener of a three-game series between two of baseball's top teams.

Anthony Santander hit a tying home run in the eighth, but the Orioles went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in their second straight loss following a six-game winning streak.

Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish allowed two runs in five innings before exiting due to elbow pain. He missed the first month of the season with a sprained UCL and will have further tests.

Garver, Castillo keep Mariners surging

Mitch Garver hit a two-run homer to back a strong start by Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners extended their AL West lead with a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Castillo gave up two runs – both in the first inning - on four hits in six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last five home starts.

Mike Baumann and Andres Munoz each pitched a hitless inning before Ryne Stanek worked around a hit in the ninth for his sixth save.

Seattle took the lead for good in the third when J.P. Crawford scored on a fielder’s choice. Julio Rodriguez hit a grounder to third with runners at the corners and Crawford trotted home to make it 3-2.

The Mariners have won five of six and 14 of 19 to open a 6 ½-game lead over Texas in the West.

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