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02nd Jul 2021

Mourinho tells Southgate to make three changes for Ukraine game

Charlie Herbert

He’s suggesting that Southgate rest some of his big names…

Jose Mourinho has given his view on how England should line up against Ukraine on Saturday night, and he’s suggested Southgate make some bold decisions.

England take on Ukraine in Rome on Saturday as they look to continue their Euro 2020 campaign and make it to the semi finals of the competition. Mourinho’s advice for Gareth though centres around the risk of suspension that some members of the England squad are facing.

Midfield pair Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice and centre back Harry Maguire are all one booking away from picking up a one game suspension. Because of this, Jose reckons they should all be rested for the Ukraine clash.

In his Sun column, the Portuguese manager said: “I’m so confident England will beat Ukraine that if I were in charge I would rest both Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips to save them for the semi-final.”

“And Gareth Southgate shouldn’t stop there because he should also consider giving Harry Maguire a break so he can be key to the defence for the final week of the tournament.

“All three are on yellow cards, and in the case of Maguire he is also lacking the same kind of preparation fitness-wise because of his injury.

“He could easily be replaced by Tyrone Mings, who was so impressive in the first two games.”

He continues: “For Maguire, a rest will be perfect because it not only means he avoids a yellow card that would stop him playing the semi-final, but also means England do not accumulate fatigue in a player that didn’t prepare as well as the others have.

“I would make three or four changes for this game even though it is a quarter-final, including the important defender and the two engines in midfield.”

Mourinho said that he would bring Jordan Henderson into the midfield, claiming that Rice looked “exhausted” after the win over Germany in the last 16.

“Gareth has 100 per cent of responsibility and pressure on him, so I would guess he may just rest one of them, so Jordan starts with one,” he added. “But don’t start with both.

“England won’t have a better chance than this one to reach the final, no better conditions ever to win these two matches and to be in the final at Wembley.”

We’ll have to wait and see whether Southgate decides to make any alterations to his side. Whilst he may make one or two changes, it would nevertheless be a huge surprise to see him rest all three of Rice, Phillips and Maguire.

And that’s before we even get on to the Jack Grealish question….