England vs Ukraine: Jose Mourinho wants three changes to Southgate’s XI

  • Rob Swan
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Jose Mourinho would make three changes to the England XI that beat Germany 2-0 for Saturday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final clash against Ukraine if he was manager.

The legendary Portuguese coach, who will take charge of AS Roma next season after being sacked by Tottenham in April, believes the Three Lions head into their next match as the overwhelming favourites and wants to see at least three players rested ahead of the semi-finals.

Gareth Southgate’s side produced a hugely impressive team performance to defeat Germany 2-0 at Wembley on Tuesday.

Two late goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane saw England beat Germany in the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup final.

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England are yet to concede a single goal at this summer’s European Championships. They beat Croatia 1-0 in their opening group match, drew 0-0 with Scotland, and then defeated the Czech Republic 1-0.

All four of their games have been played at Wembley, but this weekend they travel to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for their crunch quarter-final tie against Ukraine.

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Win that game and they’ll then face either the Czech Republic or Denmark back at Wembley next Wednesday evening.

The final will also be played at Wembley and it’s patently clear that England have never had a better opportunity to win their first major tournament since ’66.

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What changes would Mourinho make for England vs Ukraine?

But rather than sticking with the same XI that beat Germany, Mourinho wants Southgate to give a breather to several key players.

“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,” Mourinho told The Sun.

“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.”

Yep, Mourinho wants Southgate to rest Rice, Phillips *and* Maguire this Saturday.

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Isn’t that a bit risky, Jose?

“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 continued.

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

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“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.”

Mourinho believes England “don’t need Rice and Phillips” to beat Ukraine and wants to see Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson come into the starting line-up for one of them.

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“Rice and Phillips have been magnificent so far but look at the way they worked in the last match, and how Declan finished the game completely exhausted and with cramp in his legs,” Mourinho added.

It’s a fair point. Rice couldn’t even celebrate Kane’s goal because he was suffering with cramp.

“I just think they go to the Olympic Stadium in Rome and beat Ukraine,” Mourinho concluded. “The final is at Wembley, so football is coming home. And England will be there.”

Even Jose believes.

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Can England win Euro 2020? (Football Terrace)

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