The Nations League bought a lot more excitement and intrigue to international football over the past year. Instead of friendlies that pretty much no-one is interested in, competitive games which result in a trophy replaced them. Albeit we don't know how much this trophy is worth, in the future we may see this as a significant one, so every team in the Finals now have to take it seriously. And for England, it'll be a chance at a first major trophy since 1966.
This is not going to be easy for England. A lot of people have made England favourites, but a resurgent Netherlands with Van Dijk at the back, a Ronaldo-led Portugal, and a good Swiss team who beat Belgium 5-2 to get here will have something to say about that.
England were drawn against the Dutch for their semi-final. An extremely tough game awaits. Ronald Koeman has transformed the Dutch, which consists of players like Van Dijk, De Ligt, Depay, De Jong and Wijnaldum. England will have question marks over their players after the Champions League final. Although I'm certain they will make themselves available, the fitness of Kane will be a main concern. I don't think he was as rusty as many claim he was in the final. He was starved of service in a tepid final, in which Liverpool's forwards were poor too. You didn't hear anyone say anything about them. It was a poor final where no attacking player played well. Personally, I'd be surprised if Kane doesn't play. His record for England is exceptional and the way they play attackingly revolves around his link up play getting the best out of Sancho and Sterling. I hope to see England line up: Pickford, Trent, Stones, Maguire (is Gomez fit?), Chilwell, Rice, Henderson, Barkley (don't like him but no other playmaker), Sterling, Kane, Sancho. The England National team has had a magnificent 12 months and will want to top it off with this trophy. They've bought the country together and there is a sense of optimism for the first time in a long time around this squad of players.
Switzerland vs Portugal will be a good game tonight. The return of Ronaldo back to the Portugal team. I don't really like the Portugal team though. They never seem to mesh that well. However, they have a lot of quality, especially Premier League players right now, and are undoubtedly on an upward trajectory. Switzerland will fancy their chances after qualifying out of a group with Belgium in it. Their key players are Shaqiri and apparently Xhaka, which makes me feel like Portugal should go through.
I'll reflect on the Portugal game tomorrow morning and see who England will potentially be looking at in the final. See you then