Gareth Southgate held a meeting with his England squad this week where players were told winning Euro 2024 is their only target and his expectation is to triumph in Germany next year.

After reaching the final of Euro 2020, Southgate told his 24 players at their St George’s Park camp that success will be lifting the trophy this time around. England can take a huge step towards the tournament in nine months’ time by winning their qualifier against Ukraine this weekend in Poland.

Brighton’s Lewis Dunk is among the centre-backs competing for Stones’ place and has noted a shift in mentality from his last call-up in 2018.

“We had a meeting the other day and he’s talking about winning the Euros and the whole squad is thinking about winning the Euros, so I would say that’s the big change in mentality,” Dunk said.

“It’s not ‘How far can we get in a tournament.’ It’s winning a tournament. So that is probably the biggest change I’ve seen coming back. It’s: ‘We will win this tournament. We want to win this tournament.’ That’s what we’re going there to do. Being around these top players. I can see why he is saying that and why England can win.”

What is it?

England play Ukraine in their only competitive match of September’s international break, before they play Scotland in a friendly.

Goals from Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka were enough to earn England a victory when the nations played at Wembley in March. England ran out 4-0 winners when they faced Ukraine in Rome in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 (played in 2021).

When is it?

Saturday, September 9. The game will kick-off at 5pm (BST).

Where is the game being played?

The game will be played at the Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw, Poland. Ukraine’s national team have played their home matches in Poland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

What TV channel is it on?

Channel 4 have exclusive live coverage of England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers in the UK.

Who is in England’s squad?

Jack Grealish will miss the match through injury. The Manchester City midfielder missed his side’s 5-1 victory over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with a thigh injury.

Southgate took the decision to omit Raheem Sterling from his squad last week and will not be reinstated despite Grealish’s withdrawal from the England squad.

Also out is Trent Alexander-Arnold whose damaged hamstring is set to sideline him for around two weeks, meaning he will probably miss Liverpool’s first game after the international break away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Southgate has decided against replacing either player for the Ukraine match and next Tuesday’s friendly away to Scotland. He will travel with a 24-man squad.

England squad vs Ukraine

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal).

Forwards: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).

What are the odds?

  • Ukraine to win: 7/1
  • England to win: 12/25
  • Draw: 7/2

Eddie Nketiah: Thierry Henry helped me through my career setbacks

By Mike McGrath

It has been with the guiding hand of Thierry Henry that Eddie Nketiah has overcome setbacks on his way to an England call-up this week.

Arsenal’s greatest goalscorer was an Academy coach at the club when Nketiah was in Arsenal’s younger age groups and the pair have been close ever since.

Nketiah had been released by Chelsea at 14, on the same day as Declan Rice, and his route to Gareth Southgate’s squad has come via a loan at Leeds that was cut short and the post-Arsene Wenger era where Arsenal managers gave him fleeting opportunities.

Now 24, he has felt the benefit this season of regular matches under Mikel Arteta and has started the campaign ahead of Gabriel Jesus, leading to the text message from Southgate. His opportunity has come with the advice of Henry, he saw his potential at the Hale End headquarters of Arsenal’s young players. .

“His best advice was just to believe in yourself. He came in and saw the quality I had when I was a first-year scholar and said that I just needed to believe in myself, whatever anyone else said - that is what is going to drive you, to motivate you. That’s probably one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received,” Nketiah said.

“Thierry has been magnificent for me. It was one of my best and most enjoyable seasons, being able to bounce ideas off him and he gave me a lot of confidence and still to this day when I see him he is still supportive and still really helpful.”

Nketiah has been given Henry’s famous No14 shirt, which he says he is trying to put his own stamp on rather than recreate the Frenchman’s great Arsenal moments. After the pain of his release at Chelsea, he is determined to make the most of his run in Arteta’s team which has yielded two goals in four appearances at the start of the campaign.

“I think it did [make me more determined],” Nketiah said. “I was at Chelsea from the ages of nine and 14 and it came as a shock to me because I was doing well at the time. Obviously Declan [Rice] was of that age group as well and had a similar experience.

“I think it gives you an awakening and just knowing that things can change like that - that you can lose everything you have worked for. It gives you that extra bit of motivation and resilience when times are hard. I’m able to dig a level deeper than maybe some people can or don’t want to go into. It’s all part of the experience. Some boys might not have experienced it but then they will have had lows in their careers. This was my journey and it has helped me by who I am today.”

Nketiah admitted he lost his composure when he got the England call-up, celebrating with his family and a close friend at his home. He is at home at St George’s Park, having come through the ranks with England and becoming the Under-21s leading goalscorer. He is also eligible for Ghana but wanted to commit to England.

“Obviously both sides were always an option, I think naturally coming through the academy at England obviously you have the aspiration to play here and like I said once the call up was there and the offer was on the table it was really hard to turn down and something which I felt was a natural progression for myself at this stage,” he said.

“I felt now was a good time to make that step so obviously I’m really happy to be here and proud to be here like I said, hopefully I can go on and help the team this week and get some caps.”

With the seniors, he is hoping to bounce ideas off another legend. After tips from Henry, he wants to pick the brains of Harry Kane.

“I might have a few notes in my phone! I think it makes the conversation a little bit easier (now he has left Tottenham),” he joked. “Obviously, now that he has made the move over but he’s a fantastic player, and I wish him all the best in his next chapter.”