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Euro 2024: Southgate to cause more division ahead of Round of 16



Euro 2024: Southgate to cause more division ahead of Round of 16

England fans waiting on Three Lions manager, Gareth Southgate to do something different ahead of their tie versus Slovakia in the Euro 2024 round of 16, are on for a long route to the gates of heaven.

Gareth Southgate is poised to spark further division among England supporters with his team selection for the Euro 2024 round of 16 clash against Slovakia. Despite a lackluster group stage campaign, Southgate appears set to resist making wholesale changes, opting instead for just one adjustment in his starting lineup.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, the England manager plans to introduce Manchester United’s promising midfielder Kobbie Mainoo into the starting eleven alongside Declan Rice.

This move comes amid mounting calls from fans and pundits for Southgate to utilize the in-form trio of Cole Palmer, Anthony Gordon, and Mainoo himself for Sunday’s critical match in Gelsenkirchen.

Palmer, who has been a standout performer with 22 Premier League goals in the 2023/24 season, showcased his threat during a brief 20-minute stint against Slovenia. Despite this, and his evident form, he is expected to remain on the bench.

Anthony Gordon, lauded as one of Newcastle United’s top performers last season, also finds himself on the periphery, much to the frustration of supporters who believe his talents are underutilized. Mainoo, however, has earned a starting role, reflecting his consistent displays and readiness for the big stage.

The decision to field Mainoo at the expense of Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher is seen as a positive step, yet many fans argue that the team’s issues extend beyond the midfield partnership at the Euro 2024 tournament.

Critics are vocal about the need to address the left side of the squad, questioning Southgate’s reluctance to drop his favored players and rebalance the team.

One fan voiced the common sentiment:

“Fixes barely anything. Need to get the left side sorted out and balance the team properly. It’s fine playing Mainoo but the bigger problems are on the left side.”

Another added:

“Southgate really hasn’t got the bottle to drop his favourites.”

With the left flank’s persistent problems and the reliance on star performers like Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, and Harry Kane, fans are concerned about the lack of a cohesive attacking strategy.

“Hoping that Foden/Bellingham/Saka/Kane do a madness isn’t an attacking plan. Why on earth does he think that the only issue is who sits next to Rice?” lamented a frustrated supporter.

Declan Rice, who was rested on Thursday, is expected to be fit for the Slovakia clash, while Kieran Trippier’s availability remains uncertain due to a calf issue. Trippier’s participation will be determined following a late fitness test, with Ezri Konsa and Joe Gomez on standby.