England v Bosnia and Herzegovina: Euro 2024 warm-up – live

Key events

49 min: Alexander-Arnold drops deep and, from the centre circle, floats a gorgeous ball down the inside-right channel for Watkins. Vasilj gets to it before Watkins can lob him with a telescopic leg, but only just, and only because the ball rears up off the turf. Had he managed to connect, that would have been a picture-book goal.

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47 min: Palmer’s tenacity down the England right panics Radeljić into shipping possession. Bowen also swarms, and a corner is won. Alexander-Arnold swings it in from the right, and Watkins flashes a header over. If this instant burst of energy is anything to go by, England may have been given the what-for during the break.

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England get the second half underway. No changes.

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Half-time Euros-related entertainment. “Have you seen / heard this?” writes Simon McMahon. “I don’t think there’s an official song, but this ticks all the boxes, and knocks all that Three Lions nonsense into a cocked hat.”

It does indeed. On this very subject, let me humbly direct you to this piece from The Blizzard.

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Half-and-half-time entertainment. “What’s the official beverage of today’s England match? The Alexander-Arnold Palmer?” – Peter Oh, who is here all week. Try the iced-tea-and-lemonade combo.

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HALF TIME: England 0-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina

No goals, and one elegant Eberechi Eze dribble apart, nothing to get excited about. Bosnia and Herzegovina have been very comfortable.

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45 min +1: An England shot! Bowen bursts in from the right and hits an unconvincing effort towards the bottom right. Vasilj gathers easily.

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45 min: Bowen marches down the right and crosses deep. Trippier heads the ball back into the mixer from the other flank. Bosnia and Herzegovina hesitate but eventually clear their lines.

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44 min: Other than that mistake, this half has petered out. It wasn’t exactly full-throttle in the first place.

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42 min: Guéhi plays a blind Ian-Maatsen-in-the-Champions-League-final pass across the face of his own box, left to right. Hajradinović intercepts and shoots. His effort is deflected wide left with Pickford flailing. Nothing comes of the corner. England weren’t convincing in defence in the 2-2 draw against Belgium, and this is no better.

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40 min: Palmer drops deep and attempts to find Watkins down the inside-right channel again. Goal kick. Nothing quite clicking for Experimental England yet.

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39 min: England pass it around in the sterile style.

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37 min: Data latest: according to Channel 4, Ollie Watkins has only had three touches so far. But to be fair, one of them was England’s only serious shot in anger, while another was an attempted flick goalwards from a corner, and he’s up against three centre backs.

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35 min: Guéhi knocks a ball down the left flank and chases after it himself. Ahmedhodžić blocks him and catches him in the face. A free kick, and Ahmedhodžić is fortunate not to join his victim in the referee’s notebook.

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33 min: Bosnia and Herzegovina are getting a foothold in the game. A couple more adventures in the England half. The crowd fall quiet as a result.

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31 min: The home fans loudly trill the national anthem. Newcastle with a glorious socialist tradition as well.

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29 min: Guéhi is booked for a clumsy slide on Gigovic, who is flipped into the air in the cartoon style, legs splayed and a look of shock on his face.

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28 min: The resulting corner falls to the feet of Konsa amid a penalty-box melee. Konsa can’t sort his feet out properly and the resulting shot doesn’t have the required oomph to beat Vasilj.

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27 min: Eze channels that Gazza-against-the-Czechs spirit with a sensational dribble down the inside-right channel. He beats three men in glorious style, and is upended by the D, but play is waved on because the ball breaks to Konsa, who shoots from a tight angle. Corner.

Eberechi Eze of England goes on a run. Photograph: Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images
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Updated at 

25 min: Palmer twists and turns down the right before crossing deep to force England’s first corner of the evening. Palmer goes across to take it himself, finding Watkins on the left-hand edge of the six-yard box. Watkins can’t get a proper head to the ball, which floats harmlessly through to Vasilj.

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24 min: … don’t worry, nothing happens. Pickford clears.

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23 min: Dunk slices a simple clearance into the air, sparking off a chain of events that leads to Gazibegović winning Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first corner down the left. From which …

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21 min: Nothing much to report. “I wonder when the last friendly international that mattered was?” wonders Niall Mullen, in lieu of meaningful action. “I reckon maybe the England-Czechoslovakia game in 1990 that booked Gazza’s seat on the plane to Italy. Maybe a similar fate awaits one of the England players tonight. Maybe Palmer or Eze?”

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19 min: Eze and Trippier combine down the left. The ball’s cut back for Gallagher, who opens his body and aims for the top right from distance. Always wide and high. Gallagher raises his arm in apology, but there’s really no need.

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17 min: Gazibegović is certainly back to rude health, and here he is barrelling after a long pass down the left. He reaches it before it goes out of play, but it won’t be an England throw near the corner flag, because another flag pops up for offside. A rare sortie by Bosnia and Herzegovina into England territory.

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15 min: A bit of a lull, so here’s some more on that England kit, which [squints, adjusts pince-nez] “toes the line between established and unconventional … fusing together their classic reds and blues for purple … the graphic side panels feature seven different colours and pay homage to the country’s forward-thinking fashionistas.” And to think people used to reckon “looks good with jeans” was highfalutin.

Kieran Trippier wearing the new kit. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
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13 min: Gazibegović is down, claiming an elbow in the eye socket. Or maybe the ear. Or on the chin. Either way, it’s Bowen who whacked him, but it looked accidental. On comes the trainer, and play stops awhile. Then Gazibegović gets back up. He’s good to continue.

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11 min: A great atmosphere at St James’ tonight. Who needs Wembley? “Regarding Džeko, I happened to be in Sarajevo in 2009 when Bosnia were playing Portugal in a play-off for the 2010 World Cup and he was an absolute folk hero already then, so fair play to him for still being around (does maths) 15 years later. Also I’ve always liked the name Headin’ for a big old target man centre-forward.” Jon Collin, ladies and gentlemen. He’s here all week. Try the Broon.

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9 min: Palmer plays a cute ball down the inside-right channel to release Watkins into the box. Watkins outmuscles Katić, clambering all over him in a desperate but futile attempt to stop the striker, and bangs a shot goalwards. Vasilj blocks well. Great football all round.

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7 min: … but then neither is England captain-for-the-night Trippier, and he clips the in-flight Šarić out on the right. Had this been a competitive fixture, he might well have gone into the book for that. The free kick is floated in from the right and gently eyebrowed by Demirović into Pickford’s arms.

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6 min: Now Gallagher is skittled in the centre circle by Gigovic. Bosnia and Herzegovina clearly not in the mood to faff about.

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4 min: Eze is quickly in the thick of things up the other end, and earns a free kick with an elegant dribble down the left. Ahmedhodžić checking him. Nothing comes of the resulting free kick but that’ll give Eze a boost minutes into his first start for England.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina get the party started. Pickford, already none too popular with the locals due to his Sunderland connection, slices a simple clearance straight to Hajradinović. The keeper’s very fortunate the next pass, towards Demirović, is overhit. Goal kick. Relief for Pickford.

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The teams are out! England will play tonight in purple change shirts, while Bosnia and Herzegovina wear white. A fun end-of-season, pre-tournament vibe at St James’ Park. We’ll be off in a minute!

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Gareth Southgate speaks to Channel 4. “You can’t hide the fact that at this time of preparation, all these games are as big for individual players as well as the team … what we’re looking for is the work we’ve done on the training pitch to be carried out … we’re looking at how they embrace the principles of how we’re trying to play … we know what Trent Alexander-Arnold can do with the ball … we want to make sure he can do the work without the ball … against high-level opponents both sides of the game have to be right … what Cole Palmer has done all season is phenomenal … he has the freedom to pop up and cause problems … Jack Grealish was in a little bit later than the others, and we know less about Eze than we do about Jack … we’ve got four guys who have really good goalscoring records on the pitch … I’m excited to see how they combine together.”

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Manchester City supporters will be hoping their old pal Edin Džeko comes off the bench tonight. Džeko is best remembered on these shores for scoring the first of the two late, late goals for City against QPR that dramatically secured the Premier League in 2012, very much that day the Stan Mortensen to Sergio Agüero’s Stanley Matthews. He’s scored 61 goals for his country, by far their leading marksman. The next cab on the rank, Vedad Ibišević, has a mere 28 to his name. Of the other players here tonight, Ermin Bičakčić has the next-best total with two. Džeko has some record all right.

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The teams

England: Pickford, Konsa, Dunk, Guehi, Trippier, Gallagher, Alexander-Arnold, Bowen, Palmer, Eze, Watkins.
Subs: Ramsdale, Gomez, Branthwaite, Quansah, Rice, Toney, Grealish, Maddison, Kane, Jones, Wharton, Henderson, Trafford.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Vasilj, Ahmedhodzic, Katic, Radeljic, Bicakcic, Hajradinovic, Saric, Tahirovic, Gazibegovic, Gigovic, Demirovic.
Subs: Hadzikic, Hadzikadunic, Huseinbasic, Tabakovic, Dzeko, Mujakic, Burnic, Sosic, Muharemovic, Piric.

Referee: Rohit Saggi (Norway).

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Having Said That dept. Bosnia and Herzegovina have a very decent record against the other home nations. Since losing to Scotland in a qualifier for Euro 2000, they’re on a seven-game unbeaten tear-up against British sides, winning four and drawing three in matches against Wales (W2 D2) and Northern Ireland (W2 D1).

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England have never played Bosnia and Herzegovina before. As one of the favourites for Euro 2024, they’ll be expecting to start a beautiful new relationship with a win; while Gareth Southgate’s side are currently three matches without a victory, Bosnia and Herzegovina are on a four-game losing run, having lost eight of their last ten, their only two victories during that sequence coming against Liechtenstein.

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FULL TIME: Gibraltar 0-2 Scotland. England aren’t the only home nation warming up for Euro 2024. Scotland are preparing for Germany too, in more ways than one, and this afternoon they’ve started that process by beating Gibraltar 2-0 in the Algarve. Ryan Christie opened the scoring on the hour, and Che Adams added the second with five minutes left on the clock. Almost the perfect result for Steve Clarke’s side, as it breaks a seven-game winless run that stretched all the way back to last September, while adding nothing whatsoever in the form of hope or expectation. The sort of stuff that can addle the mind. Mess you up.

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The England team has been announced, and as expected it’s an experimental one. Cole Palmer and Eberechi Eze make their first starts, while Trent Alexander-Arnold gets another run-out in midfield, and Ollie Watkins leads the line. With Harry Kane resting up on the bench, Toon hero Kieran Trippier is captain for the evening.

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Preamble

Let’s not overthink or oversell this. It’s a pre-tournament warm-up with half the team missing. Kick-off is at 7.45pm BST. It’s on!

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