England can secure their place at Euro 2024 with games to spare despite seeing their perfect start coming to an end.
England are eyeing qualification despite the end of their perfect startGetty
But Italy’s shock 1-1 stalemate with North Macedonia meant their result went largely unpunished.
Gareth Southgate’s side still remain six points clear at the top of Group C and continue to boast a +14 goal difference.
There are now only three qualifiers left for England to secure their spot in the tournament in Germany and the job can be done early.
When can England qualify for Euro 2024?
England can qualify for Euro 2024 as early as October 17.
A win against Italy on that date should still be enough to secure a spot due to their superior goal difference and other fixtures.
Doing the double over the Azzurri would put Southgate’s men on 16 points in total and a top-two place will be virtually guaranteed.
This is due to Ukraine and Italy playing against each other twice in their remaining games meaning that unless the Italians beat England, only one of them is likely to qualify.
Walker’s goal secured a hard-fought draw for England against UkraineGetty
If the Three Lions do lose their next qualifier and their opponents win their games in hand, things can get interesting.
A defeat to Italy would mean they will have to wait until November to secure their place at the tournament.
But fortunately, England’s final two fixtures of the campaign come against North Macedonia and Malta on November 17 and 20.
Those games are likely to be meaningless if England are already qualified but they are favourable if three points are needed.
What has been said?
Speaking after the draw with Ukraine, Southgate said: “The reality is we’re not going to win every game by fours and sevens as we’ve done in this qualifying campaign.
“That was a really good test, away from home, in a very passionate atmosphere. We had quite a few changes forced from the last game.
“Sometimes, especially with attacking play, it doesn’t quite click.”
He added: “It’s a very important point for us and we’ve now played the two best-ranked teams away from home and we’ve got four points from those two games.”