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England fans angered as report names who’s set to start against Croatia

England fans have been left angered as a report on Saturday names who’s set to start against Croatia for the Euro 2020 opener.

Raheem Sterling, who has just been awarded an MBE for services to racial equality, will reportedly be in the starting XI.

It comes despite falling out of favour under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City last season, shipping in 14 goals from 49 games in all competitions, much lower that the previous season where he netted 31 times in 52 matches.

The 26-year-old started England’s latest World Cup qualifying victory against Poland on the 31st of March and has played in the Three Lions’ last 25 competitive games.

The one exception was a qualifier against Montenegro in November 2019 after an altercation with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez at St George’s Park.

The Telegraph say that Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford could be set for the substitutes bench with in-form 21-year-old Phil Foden tipped to round out a front three. England captain Harry Kane is expected to lead the line.

The report goes on to add that Premier League duo Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire are both expected to not be in the starting XI due to fitness concerns.

On Maguire’s fitness, England boss Gareth Southgate said: “He is progressing really well.

“It is still a long shot, but we are still checking in daily and he is further ahead than he thought he might be at this point. So we are certainly not going to rule it out.”

Speaking to ITV, Southgate added: “We are going to have some young players on the pitch there is no doubt about that. So how do we balance that with players that have had big match experience and are good talkers? In any team, you have to have the balance right, be able to defend and pose the opposition a threat.”

Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland reminded fans desperate to see all of England’s attacking talent start together that “this is not fantasy football”. “I would say only this, going back to the World Cup in 2018, for example, Argentina, they had Dybala, Di Maria, Aguero, Higuain, Lionel Messi,” said Holland.

“Icardi didn’t make the squad. So you have an amazing array of talent, but they went out in the round of 16 averaging three goals against every game. This is not fantasy football. It is nice to play that game, but you can’t just throw four or five players together.

“What that team showed is that if you try to cram too many in you don’t even get the best of the individuals that if you play with fewer, they can provide. So our challenge is clear, we have to find the right balance. That will differ from game-to-game and I think that will look different in the first minute than it does in the 90th.”

Holland also suggested Southgate could utilise all five of his permitted substitutions and may change formations within games.

“The five subs I think is a good idea,” he said. “I think the five subs could be good for us. Never more than now has the importance of starters and finishers to the game – it’s highly likely that 16 players will be involved in most games.

“I see it is quite possible we start with one formation and finish with another, at times. Players are well drilled with both and it is up to us to choose the best one for the best opponent given the form our players are in.

“The modern-day footballer is used to adapting and I think we have a situation where in March we played 4-3-3 and in the autumn we played 3-4-3 and we were happy with both. We got reasonable results in both. We beat the number one team in the world playing 3-4-3 and our results in March were good.”

Mason Mount is set to play a key part for Southgate’s team, as the Chelsea midfielder will be relied upon to press high up the pitch and to put Croatia under pressure.

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He played a role in an advanced position in front of Declan Rice, who will start on Sunday, and Kalvin Phillips against Poland and was excellent at winning back possession and interchanging with his Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell.

Meanwhile, as the players were training ready for the game at St George’s Park, a plane flew over with a banner.

It was a message for the England staff and players, which got them laughing before carrying on as it went into the aircraft.

It read: “MOST #CRO GOALS COME DOWN LEFT”

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

As mentioned, England fans were angered as a report names who’s set to start against Croatia, others also had something else to say, see that below…

@martlsure: Sterling’s a very good player but others have had miles better seasons, must play Grealish, Foden & Mount

@JamieHalpin10: He’s bang out of form. But yes play him. Classic Yes man Southgate

@DiscoDaveToon: What a joke man! So this means of course that Grealish or Foden miss out!! Joke of a decision

@ethanxoxox: Has southgate actually watched him play in the past year

@AnthMullen: Got to be a joke this. Lucky to be in squad never mind the starting 11

@Christianfrsr: Please don’t ruin my weekend

@Jtavfc2000: Convinced Southgate loves winding us all up with these selections

@OfficialTomLee: This is so clearly the wrong decision but in no way will it shock any England fan.

@unclesilent1: It’s not coming home

@bezer247: I can remember shearer being out of form going into euro 96, the manager kept the faith with him and he was on

@Stueycufc: He’s shit!! How difficult is it to see grealish foden mount kane all had good seasons where sterling’s been poor but gets away with it in a good city side. Just know the likes of Henderson pickford rashford sterling will play and well be home in the last 16

@HarryUTV: He’s actually gonna start over Grealish 😂

@charlrugby: Who cares about faith play your inform best players

@sarah_WBAx: As we all knew Southgate would do anyway, not like Grealish and Foden have been two of the best players in the PL this season or anything

@SlRCHARLES: How hard is it to play mount foden grealish Kane it’s so obviously our best choice

@beardo94: Gareth Southgate is getting exposed this euros

@MoloneyBilly: Thought Southgate said he wouldn’t play player because of their name and because of their form

@Bigangrydave: How southgate got near that job is beyond me.

@JamzLFC786: Not surprised. Also starting with Pickford over Henderson. Joke manager

@OLDSCHOOLHAPPY: Don’t think Henderson is anything special either to be honest. Looks suspect whenever I see him play.

@1970_dave: Great that’s my bet sorted.. 3 or more shots no goals.

@ItsThatGuyKai95: Fucking kidding me

@mattyk74: Gareth “ill pick players in form” Southgate, ok lad Thinking face

@topmuckatucka: overrated beyond belief

@AVFCPride: No offence to Sterling but he’s out of form. This is why I can’t get excited by us as we always pick players who are out of form or injured

@chrispearl82: Shock. Throw Rashford on as well make it a double whammy.

@emilyhewertson: The fact Sterling is likely starting over Foden and Grealish is criminal.

@Martyns5: Wrong decision, Sterling struggling for form for club and Country at the moment

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