Gary Lineker and Micah Richards have confidently backed England to beat Slovakia in their Euro 2024 last-16 clash, but warned Gareth Southgate’s side they must ‘click into gear’.

The Three Lions are bidding to keep their unbeaten record in the competition alive and a place in the quarter-finals when they face Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

England were placed into the more favourable side of the knockout stage draw after topping their group including Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.

However, performances have been justifiably criticised with stars struggling to replicate their club form on the international stage and at times looking fatigued.

Three Lions icon Lineker has been amongst England’s harshest critics while in Germany, previously labelling their 1-1 draw against Denmark as ‘s***’ and drawing criticism from Harry Kane.

Gary Lineker and Micah Richards have confidently backed England to beat Slovakia in their Euro 2024 last-16 clash

The Three Lions are bidding to keep their unbeaten record in the competition alive and a place in the quarter-finals

The Three Lions are bidding to keep their unbeaten record in the competition alive and a place in the quarter-finals

Commenting on England’s future at Euro 2024, the Beeb anchor said on The Rest is Football podcast: ‘I think, well, I’m gonna go with England anyway. I think it’s remarkable how the draw has fallen for England.

‘I mean, it’s not the first time it’s happened for Gareth, obviously, which is great, because it’s really important to have a bit of luck at some point in the tournament.

‘And that might be it. You’ve got most of the monsters on the other side of the draw. And even that little twist of Georgia beating Portugal, which meant England played Slovakia instead of Netherlands.

‘I mean, Netherlands game, you’re thinking, I mean, they’ve not been flying either, but you’re going, they’ve got some players. I don’t want to be disrespectful towards Slovakia, but there should be very, very strong favourites.’

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Meanwhile, co-pundit and former Man City and England international, Richards, tipped his nation to beat Sunday’s opponents 2-0, adding: ‘I think England are gonna click into gear now. I

‘I just think the last game against Slovenia, there were signs of them getting higher up the pitch.

‘Now they’ve just got to sort the last bit out with creativity. I think we’ll be fine. Two nil England. You get the group that we’ve been in, you get Slovakia, you’re on the right side of the group. You’ve got to now hope.

Lineker has been amongst England's harshest critics at Euro 2024

Richards believes England will finally 'click' against Slovakia

Both Lineker (left) and Richards (right) expect England to qualify for the quarter-finals

Gareth Southgate's squad have underperformed in their group stage matches at the European Championship

Gareth Southgate’s squad have underperformed in their group stage matches at the European Championship

‘I mean, you know, should we be in these teams with the players that we have? So on the right side of it, it’s time for us, you know what it is? 

‘It’s time for us to take responsibility as players, managers and say, we’re better than you.

‘Let’s play on the front foot. That’s what we need to do and have that confidence and have the arrogance that we see week in, week out.’

But Lineker warned: ‘That has to come from the leader, but he’s got England through most games in knockout stages against weaker opposition. I think we’re all going to go for England.’

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