• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Euro 2024: Stones hopes Bellingham cleared for England’s cracker against Switzerland

Jude Bellingha

John Stones is hoping that Jude Bellingham will be available for England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final showdown with Switzerland, as the Real Madrid star awaits UEFA’s decision on his controversial goal celebration.

Bellingham risks a ban after he was filmed mimicking a crotch grab while looking towards Slovakia’s bench following his dramatic equaliser, which kept England in the tournament.

England will face Switzerland on Saturday, largely thanks to Bellingham’s stunning 95th-minute bicycle kick that levelled the score at 1-1 against Slovakia. Harry Kane subsequently secured the last-16 victory early in extra-time.

“He’s done it all season, come up with some massive goals for Madrid, and he’s done it here as well,” Manchester City defender Stones told reporters. “I hope he’s there. I’m not sure what’s going on with everything around that, but all we can focus on is hopefully scoring a bit earlier this time.”

England approach the match with a promising chance to end their 58-year major tournament drought, positioned on the opposite side of the knockout bracket from other tournament favourites.

Under Gareth Southgate, England reached the final of the last Euros and advanced deep in the last two World Cups, only to fall short in the semi-finals in 2018 and the quarter-finals in Qatar.

“I think in the World Cup we had another similar run that we felt we could win, and it didn’t happen,” added Stones. “We’ve got an incredible opportunity this weekend to progress further. We’ve been in these positions before, and it’s time to realise where we are and the magnitude of these moments.”

A victory over Switzerland, who eliminated Italy in the last 16 and impressed with a draw against hosts Germany in Group A, would set up a semi-final against Turkey or the Netherlands.

On the other side of the bracket, Germany faces Spain and Portugal battles France.