England’s Foden and Sterling will start against Croatia

Sun 13 June 2021 | 13:04

According to Sky Sports News, the Manchester City duo will be in England’s starting XI when they go against Croatia on Sunday.

Phil Foden


Raheem Sterling

will help Harry Kane in


’s attack as they aim to win


in the Group D opener clash on Sunday.

Neither of the pair has played for their country’s warm-up victories over Romania and Austria; however, they were in the starting XI, along with Captain Kane, in England’s World Cup qualifying victory over Poland in March.

Foden was a key player in Manchester City’s Premier League title grab last season as well as the Carabao Cup trophy. He also helped them get to the Champions League final. The 21-year-old met the target 16 times and Sterling found the back of the net 14 times.

Former England defender Gary Neville said:

"Mason Mount is going to play, unless something happens with his form or injury, and then you are talking about starting either Foden or Jack Grealish and then one of the quicker players, which are Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Sterling.

"With Harry Kane up front, you do need one of those wider forwards to make sure they run past him. If everyone is coming naturally to the ball, then it becomes a little more difficult for Harry.

"The balance feels right but it does mean that with the game being played in such heat, Grealish or Rashford could come on at any point. They're great options for Gareth Southgate to try and change the game if needed."

England have yet to win their first opening match at a European Championship as they were defeated at the hands of Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

Paul Merson picked the two Manchester City players to be in his team and talked about how Gareth Southgate’s squad will not be taken in by their rival’s poor form.

‘The Magic Man’, who helped England in two finals tournaments in the 1990s, told Sy Sports why he believes England should go into the opening game with a back three, with their battle against Scotland coming next.


I've watched enough of the last couple of games to see we've not got anyone who's prepared to run without the ball,"

said Merson.

"Sterling will do that, we need that. If we don't run without the ball, I don't see how we're going to do anything. He's not been in great form, but he runs without the ball and that's the one shining light I've seen in the last couple of games, no-one's really prepared to run without the ball.

"I don't think we're good enough at the back, you've seen that in the last couple of games and that's average teams, average teams. Romania aren't even going to the tournament, and it was harder to not qualify than to get there.

"They went through us a bit too easily; people will say that isn't our proper team, but this is a game where you can't afford to lose - you've got to be a bit cagey and have that insurance at the back."

source: SportMob

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