England face Ukraine in Rome in their Euro 2020 quarter-final on Saturday night, as Gareth Southgate’s men look to book their place in the final four
Jose Mourinho is so confident that England can beat Ukraine he has urged Gareth Southgate to rest stars for the semi-final.
The Three Lions take on Andriy Shevchenko’s men in Rome on Saturday night, in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
England are looking to punch their ticket back to Wembley for the final four, but Southgate has players at risk of suspension if they’re booked, namely midfield pair Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice, and Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.
And the ex-Spurs boss, who is taking charge of Roma this summer, insists that if he was England chief, he would leave all three out on Saturday.
“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,” he declared in his Sun column.
“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.
“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 could easily be replaced by Tyrone Mings, who was so impressive in the first two games.
“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.
“I would make three or four changes for this game even though it is a quarter-final, including the important defender and the two engines in midfield.”
Mourinho insists he would bring Jordan Henderson into midfield with Rice “exhausted” after the win over Germany.
“Gareth has 100 per cent of responsibility and pressure on him, so I would guess he may just rest one of them, so Jordan starts with one,” he added. “But don’t start with both.
“England won’t have a better chance than this one to reach the final, no better conditions ever to win these two matches and to be in the final at Wembley.”