Jamie Carragher has spoken about Gareth Southgate’s possible team selection ahead of England’s crucial quarter-final clash with Ukraine.
The former Liverpool defender thinks that the manager has justified his decisions so far in the tournament, but the way Jack Grealish played after coming off the bench against Germany on Tuesday has given England’s boss a selection headache ahead of tonight’s crucial clash in Rome.
And because of that excellent performance, Carragher thinks that Southgate may just choose to go with Grealish ahead of 19-year-old Arsenal star, Bukayo Saka, who has also impressed in each of the Three Lions’ last two games, but has emerged as a doubt for the game with a knock.
“I think the manager has shown now that he will change a winning system. It is about what is right for that game,” he wrote on Sky Sports.
“I think he will change the system a bit because this is possibly a game where the onus will be on England more to take the game to Ukraine or be the one in possession a lot more. That plays into Grealish’s hands so I think he has a really good chance of playing.
“Saka has done really well but he may feel something else is needed because Jack has been so creative when he has come on.”
Meanwhile, former Gunners midfielder Ray Parlour agrees that Grealish has contributed a lot to the England side so far, but he thinks that Saka should keep his place ahead of Aston Villa’s captain in the line-up.
“Grealish was very much needed in the game and he set up the second goal and had a hand in the first. Gareth got it right and now we’re in the quarter-finals which is great.
“I think he (Saka) has done enough, he was one of the better players in the first half when no one really stood out.
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“Gareth (Southgate) shuffled the pack in the second half but I can see him maybe starting against Ukraine because he’s dangerous. He had a great season at a struggling club and I think Gareth knows what he gets with Saka.”
Although the two disagree about the Saka and Grealish rotation, they’ll both be placing their trust in a manager who has got everything right so far.
If England win, they will reach the semi-final of the competition for only the third time.