Jose Mourinho revealing his English eleven on talkSPORT seemed to get everyone talking, even the English players themselves, as he praised a number of the Three Lions’ young stars.
However, fans have been warned not to expect ‘fantastic football’ from Gareth Southgate, by one of his own collaborators, and it looks like the England side who will be pulling out for their opener in Euro 2020 against Croatia on Sunday could be very different.
Mourinho – making his competitive studio debut as a talkSPORT expert for the Euro – was initially hesitant to name the team he would choose, admitting that it was not for him to comment on or exceed the mark on the Southgate work.
Southgate faces a near impossible job as time flies until their first match – who is live on talkSPORT – but after some encouragement, the Special One quickly listed the 11 players they would pick, and it was heavy on young offensive talent.
But it seems Southgate is sticking to a familiar phrase.
Mourinho has described Jack Grealish as “untouchable” – even comparing him to Luis Figo – and has also named Phil Foden, but at least one of those players, if not both, is now expected to be absent.
The Daily Mail reports that Raheem Sterling is expected to start alongside Harry Kane and Mason Mount.
That leaves just one more spot for a striker, which would mean two from Foden, Grealish and Marcus Rashford would start off the bench.
Mourinho also opted to leave two of his former Manchester United players out of his eleven, Luke Shaw and Rashford, who he said are “completely lost” unless he plays on the left wing, that is. there he says Grealish should be a safe starter.
But it is suggested that Rashford could be given the nod from Southgate as he sticks to his tried and trusted stars, leaving no room for Grealish or Foden.
The biggest subject of debate ahead of the game has been England’s defensive line, with complaints earlier this week Southgate is expected to pick FOUR full-backs out of five full-backs, with Luke Shaw on the left side of a three.
However, Southgate is now expected to stay with the back four he operated in two warm-up friendlies against Austria and Romania.
Fans will likely be particularly disappointed to see Grealish left out after his impressive prep performances, but assistant manager Steve Holland has warned fans not to expect “fantastic football” from the Three Lions this summer. .
And he also revealed that he and Southgate know the squad and roster for Sunday’s clash.
“I would only say this,” said the England manager. “Coming back to the World Cup in 2018, for example in Argentina, they had (Paulo) Dybala, (Angel) Di Maria, (Sergio) Aguero, (Gonzalo) Higuain, Lionel Messi.
“Mauro Icardi was not part of the team. So you have an incredible array of talent, but they came out in the round of 16.
“It’s not fantastic football. It’s nice to play this game, but you can’t just have four or five players together. What this team has shown is that if you try to cram too much you don’t even get the best of the individuals that if you play with less they can provide you.
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Dean Henderson was also picked by Mourinho as his No.1 for the tournament, but the Manchester United goalkeeper missed training on Saturday morning, on the eve of England’s opener.
talkSPORT understands he only missed the practice session as a precaution and has no doubts about the game, but Jordan Pickford should always start between the sticks.
“It’s just a minor problem he has,” revealed Faye Curruthers, talkSPORT England correspondent.
St George’s Park reporters also feared the fitness of John Stones, the team’s only experienced center-back in full form, after the Three Lions team emerged on the training ground without him.
But, it turns out he was just late for the session, as he walked around the pitch after his teammates. The Man City star is set to start at Wembley.
And there might have been some good news about Harry Maguire’s fitness, as Curruthers noted that the United captain was “moving quite comfortably” ahead of the game.
It is not yet clear whether he will receive a starting spot, but it is generally expected that he will not make it to England’s opener.
With Holland hinting at a conservative selection and emphasizing not conceding, we expect a familiar England side against Croatia.
While Maguire is still in the process of regaining 100% fitness, a pair of center-backs from John Stones and Tyrone Mings are likely, with Kyle Walker at right-back and Luke Shaw battling with Ben Chilwell for the spot. ‘back left.
We stick with Mourinho in this one, however, who said he “wouldn’t think twice” before choosing the Chelsea defender over his ex-United man, with whom he has had an awkward relationship. .
Meanwhile, as Jurgen Klopp insisted Jordan Henderson is in great shape and returned to action in England’s final warm-up against Romania, talkSPORT specialist Tony Cascarino insists it would be reckless to pitch the Liverpool captain against Croatia.
“I wouldn’t want to risk Henderson in midfield,” the Weekend Breakfast host said on Saturday.
“Because the Croatian midfielder is incredibly strong. Find the right balance, don’t make any mistakes in your alignment, because they will punish you.
“If you’re wrong Croatia have a very experienced squad, so if you get something tactically wrong, or the players you pick aren’t quite in on their game, you’ll pay the price.” price.
“They are a very wise and wise team that have been around for a long time and while a few of their key players are on the wrong side of the 30s they are still a dangerous team.”
talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 will have live commentary from EVERY Euro 2020 game. You won’t miss a thing as we provide you with 24-hour coverage, feedback and analysis from June 11 through July 11. Listen online HERE.
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