Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling set to play for England against Croatia in Euro 2020 opener

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Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling set to play for England against Croatia in Euro 2020 opener


Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling are set to start for England against Croatia in the Euro 2020 Group D opener, Sky Sports News has learned.

The Manchester City pair will partner with captain Harry Kane in attack as England seek a winning start at Wembley.

Neither Foden nor Sterling played for England in their warm-up wins over Romania and Austria, but they started alongside Kane in England’s final competitive game, victory 2 -1 qualifying for the World Cup against Poland in March.

Foden was one of Manchester City’s most notable players when he regained the Premier League title, retained the Carabao Cup and reached the Champions League final. The 21-year-old has scored 16 goals, with Sterling finding the net 14 times.

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Foden and Sterling set to team up with Harry Kane in attack

Former England defender Gary Neville said: “Mason Mount is going to play, unless something happens with his form or injury, then you talk about starting Foden or Jack Grealish and then one of the faster players , who are Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Sterling.

“With Harry Kane up front, you need one of those wider forwards to make sure they get past him. If everyone comes naturally to the ball, it becomes a bit more difficult for Harry.

“The balance seems fair, but it means that with the game being played in such heat, Grealish or Rashford could appear at any time. These are great options for Gareth Southgate to try and change the game if necessary. “

England have never won their opening game of a European Championship and suffered an overtime loss to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final.

England XI of Paul Merson

Paul Merson chose Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling from his England squad to face Croatia and he explained why Gareth Southgate’s side cannot be fooled by their opponents’ poor form.

“The Magic Man”, who made two final tournaments with England in the 1990s, said Air sports why England must approach their opener with a three-way comeback, with a ‘cup final’ against Scotland coming after their clash with Croatia.

“I’ve watched the last two games enough to see that no one is ready to run without the ball,” Merson said.

“Sterling will do it, we need it. If we don’t run without a ball, I don’t see how we’re going to do anything. He’s not been in great shape, but he’s running without the ball and that’s the bright light I’ve seen in the last two games, no one is really ready to run without the ball.

“I don’t think we’re good enough at the back, you’ve seen that in the last two games and they’re middle teams, middle teams. Romania don’t even go to the tournament, and it was harder not to qualify than to get there.

“They got through us a bit too easily; people will say it’s not our good team, but it’s a game where you can’t afford to lose – you have to be a little wary and have that confidence on your back. “

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