England star Ollie Watkins has revealed he predicted Cole Palmer would set him up prior to the Three Lions’ 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

The Aston Villa striker has struggled for regular action at the tournament, with the 28-year-old often forced to play second fiddle to Harry Kane and Ivan Toney.


But Watkins came off the bench to become a hero for the entire nation, with the England star unleashing a stunning low shot into the bottom corner to win the match.

His goal gave the Three Lions a deserved victory, with Gareth Southgate’s side significantly improved compared to matches against Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia.

Ollie Watkins England Netherlands

Ollie Watkins was the hero as England beat the Netherlands to reach the final of Euro 2024

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And Watkins has now confessed he had a feeling Palmer would provide the assist for his winner.

Speaking to ITV, he said: “I’ve been waiting for that moment for weeks. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am today.

“I’m delighted. I swear on my life that I said to Cole Palmer that he’s going to set me up today and I’m going to score.

“It’s the best feeling ever.”

England have been widely criticised for their showings at Euro 2024 so far, despite being unbeaten.

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But Watkins thinks they’ve proven their credentials and laid down a marker ahead of Sunday night’s final with Spain.

“There’s been a lot of criticism but we’re in the final and that’s all that matters,” he said.

“We’ve got that bounce back factor. Going behind seems to kick us into gear.

“We’ve won on penalties and come from behind.”

England star Jude Bellingham has paid tribute to Watkins, praising his team-mate for his stunning late goal.

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“We’re going to get criticism when we don’t play well but it’s important that we build that resistance to it and we come together and win these games,” he said.

“These moments are great, it brings us together as a team and a family.

“These moments make us more toegther and we take it into the final now.

“Ollie Watkins came on and took his opportunity. I’m buzzing for him.

“You’re not starting every game like you would for your club and it’s difficult.

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Ollie Watkins England Netherlands Euro 2024

Ollie Watkins was elated after firing England into the final of Euro 2024 with a 2-1 win over the Netherlands

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“Spain have looked amazing, they’ve looked really good. We’ll sit down and understand how they play.”

And Ian Wright was also full of praise for the Villa forward, insisting his attitude is commendable.

“Ollie Watkins’ game is about stretching and getting beyond defenders,” he said.

“He is in between players. His movement has purpose. It’s in his mind to get ready.

“This is what Ollie Watkins does. This is the exact attitude I would want to have.

Ollie Watkins Harry Kane England Netherlands

Ollie Watkins and Harry Kane scored as England beat the Netherlands to reach the final of Euro 2024

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“You want Cole Palmer to come on and hit a pass that is perfect. In the moment, get back to the basics. It was absolutely perfect.

“Nobody did that to those defenders all night. They had an easy ride until he came on.”