Ian Wright names his England XI to face Germany with two controversial decisions

Ian Wright has urged Gareth Southgate to drop both Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka against Germany to give England their best chance of progression.

So far the England boss has tinkered with his XI in the group fixtures against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic.

And despite their best performance coming against the Czechs, Wright wants to see impressive duo Grealish and Saka left out of the side for the last-16 clash at Wembley.

Both players made a big impact in England’s attack for the 1-0 win in their final group game, but Phil Foden is likely to get the nod after being rested in the last outing.

Mason Mount could well return in the other starting berth after getting clearance to play again following a Covid-19 precaution period of self-isolation.

Ian Wright says he would drop both Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish for the last-16 clash
Ian Wright says he would drop both Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish for the last-16 clash

Wright would like to see both of those players feature from the off against Germany, with captain Harry Kane leading the line in attack and Raheem Sterling occupying the other forward role.

That would mean no place for either Grealish nor Saka, with Wright sticking with central midfield duo Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips behind England’s attackers.

There are suggestions Southgate will change his system to a back three to match their German counterparts, who have shown plenty of threat from the wing-back positions in the tournament thus far.

But Wright hopes Southgate will avoid making that alteration and instead field the same back four as their last match.

Asked his thoughts on selection, the former England striker said on ITV: “‘I’d go with a 4-3-3 and try and force ourselves on Germany.

“I’d bring Mount in for Grealish, I’d play Foden, Kane and Sterling up front. I’d play [Declan] Rice, [Kalvin] Phillips and Mount in midfield and then the back four; Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker.”

England fans have been eager to see their team take the handbrake off and adopt a more attacking approach, but that goes against much of what Southgate has asked of his players during his tenure.

And Wright feels the Three Lions’ boss would be right to implement more cautious, methodical tactics to eliminate the threat of their opponents.

“I hear what Ashley [Cole] is saying in respects to playing with no fear, but you couldn’t say that against Scotland, I don’t know what happened with that performance but we can’t afford to do that against Germany, especially with [Joshua] Kimmich and [Robin] Gosens with what they want to do with the wing-backs.

Who will win between England and Germany? Have your say below.

“I would like us to play with those wingers and keep them pinned back because that is going to take a lot from Germany if we can keep Kimmich and Gosens out of it because they haven’t got that natural centre forward, so if we can keep them back and enforce our game on them we have got a better chance rather than going in and just trying to nullify Germany.”


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