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England expect success heading into any tournament, but the level of demands placed on coach Gareth Southgate's side could scarcely be higher three years on from their defeat at Wembley as they debut Sunday against Serbia. The Three Lions have one of the best young squads on the planet, headlined by a formidable attack that includes the reigning players of the year in Spain and England as well as Germany's top scorer. After years of steady progress now would appear to be winning time for the Three Lions.

They will, however, be tested by a group that includes three teams ranked in FIFA's top 60, all of whom reached the tournament directly through qualification rather than through recourse to the playoffs. Much like England, Serbia look like a side stacked with attacking talent but with work to do at the back, though they are perhaps a little more willing to risk defeat in pursuit of victory. When they are good, as in a 3-0 friendly win over Sweden, Dragan Stojkovic's side look good enough to test anyone in Europe. However this is still a side who have not always delivered to their collective potential, losing home and away to Hungary in qualifying while also very nearly losing in Bulgaria. Here is how you can watch Sunday's match and all you need to know:

Viewing information

  • Date: Sunday, June 16 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Arena AufSchalke -- Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • TV: Fox | Live stream:  Fubo (try for free)
  • Odds: Serbia +650; Draw +340; England -225

Group C outlook

England are strong favorites to top Group C and will be expected not only to win their games but to do so in some style given that their frontline includes Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka. There are, however, challenges to be faced in the Serbia game and beyond. Denmark may have struggled at the 2022 World Cup but their squad is experienced and talented, one that snatched top spot in Group H of the qualifiers just ahead of Slovenia.

The Dragons might be the least favored of the quartet to escape the group but have a key component for success at any international tournament: quality at the top and bottom end of the pitch. Jan Oblak has somewhat dug himself out of the rut he was in a few years ago with Atletico Madrid while Benjamin Sesko is the young striker on everyone's lips after an impressive run of scoring form for RB Leipzig in the spring.

Golazo Network's Morning Footy previews: Group C

Team news

Serbia: A fairly underwhelming run of results following their early exit from the World Cup 18 months ago might have quelled expectations in Serbia but perhaps those ought to be raised after an impressive win in Sweden to wrap up the friendly matches, Aleksandar Mitrovic and substitute Dusan Tadic netting in the second half for the visitors. It may be that Stojkovic opts to continue with what worked in that game but more likely he looks to find room for Tadic, perhaps at the expense of Dusan Vlahovic.

Possible Serbia XI: Vanja Miliknovic-Savic; Stojic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Lukic, Gudelj, Kostic; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic; Mitrovic

England: It would be unwise to over index Friday's 1-0 defeat to Iceland, though this is England in the lead up to a major tournament. Reason rarely prevails when it comes to the discourse over Southgate. Though Kobbie Mainoo had bright moments to go with his more high-profile issues it does seem plausible that his place next to Declan Rice may be taken by a midfielder with greater experience in a match that could be stretched by Serbia's commitment to attack, Conor Gallagher perhaps being a logical option.

That aside the only real matter for debate is who partners John Stones in Harry Maguire's absence. Marc Guehi has established himself as Southgate's most trusted alternate of late and seems the most credible starter in defense. With Luke Shaw still working on his fitness, expect Kieran Trippier to take the left back spot.

Possible England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier; Rice, Gallagher; Saka, Bellingham, Foden; Kane


Serbia tend to be very ready to allow games to go a bit end to end, a bit attack vs. attack. That might ultimately suit England, who should have enough firepower to get the job done. PICK: Serbia 1, England 3

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