Southgate ponders selection changes ahead of crunch Euro 2020 final

Gareth to stick or twist? Southgate ponders selection changes ahead of crunch Euro 2020 final with Italy – with a rare unchanged side on the cards for the first time in 37 matches

  • Gareth Southgate must pick an XI for the biggest match of his managerial career 
  • The England boss has led the national team all the way to the Euro 2020 final 
  • Southgate will spend Saturday finalising both his team and tactics to face Italy 
  • The likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford hope for chances 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Gareth Southgate has challenged his England side to write more history as he faces a tricky decision over whether to send out an unchanged team for the first time in 37 matches on Sunday.

After a euphoric run culminating in Wednesday night’s pulsating 2-1 win over Denmark, England face Italy at Wembley in the country’s first major final for 55 years.

No matter how the clash ends, Southgate’s men will be remembered as one of the most successful England teams in history, with many of the current squad also involved in their run to a fourth-placed finish at the 2018 World Cup.

Gareth Southgate must soon pick an XI for the biggest match of his managerial career

But Southgate insists his team have one more chapter to write, saying: ‘Whatever happens now, they’re all going to take a medal which has not happened for decades to an England group and they deserve it.

‘They’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with and I can’t speak highly enough of them.

‘We know the size of the challenge but what a brilliant challenge for us to have and what a brilliant opportunity for the players to write one more piece of history.’

Southgate knows a number of his players are eager to get their chance in the big final

Southgate will spend Saturday finalising his team and tactics for the final against Roberto Mancini’s side. He has not selected an unchanged line-up for consecutive games since the World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia three years ago — a run of 36 matches.

His biggest dilemma appears to be whether to play Bukayo Saka or Phil Foden down the right side of attack, with early indications suggesting the Arsenal forward could keep his place. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are also options.

But a final decision will be made after Saturday’s training session, the team’s last of the tournament.

Youngster Phil Foden impressed when given the nod to come on against Denmark in the semi

Foden impressed when he came on as a substitute against the Danes and will be hoping to get the nod.

Having dyed his hair blond before the tournament, the Manchester City star revealed last month that his team-mates had agreed to do the same if England won the Euros.

But Foden has revealed they are now backtracking, saying: ‘I’ve told them but I’m feeling they are not going to do it.

‘We’ve still got a tough final to win. If we win I’d like to think they’d stick to their word but we’ll see.’




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