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Gareth Southgate set to make significant change to his England line-up to face Slovakia

Gareth Southgate set to make significant change to his England line-up to face Slovakia

England will take on Slovakia in the knockout stages of Euro 2024.

England will make a significant change for their last-16 showdown against Slovakia, according to reports.

Gareth Southgate is preparing to name his team for Sunday's game in Gelsenkirchen.

Phil Foden is expected to return to Germany on Thursday night after he 'temporarily left' camp this week to be with his partner, who gave birth to a baby boy.

It is unclear whether Foden will feature for the Three Lions, but the Telegraph report that Kobbie Mainoo is in line to start his first game at Euro 2024.

Mainoo made an instant impact in their final group stage clash against Slovenia. He was a breath of fresh air in Cologne, dictating play in what has been a problematic midfield area.

His midfield partner Declan Rice was given a rest on Thursday but is expected to be for the Slovakia game. Kieran Trippier, meanwhile, was also absent from training with a slight calf issue.

Gary Neville believes Mainoo is ready to step up and prove his worth at Euro 2024.

“Every good team has a player who can receive a ball on the half turn, set the rhythm of the team and control a game. I love Bellingham, Rice and Alexander-Arnold. They are all amazing players. But I’m not convinced the current midfield three can provide that," he began.

“With Mainoo in midfield there’s a different dynamic which might help the team. If Mainoo is in midfield, it would allow Rice to make those runs forward at least two or three times in a game. That’s a real asset for England.”

Neville added: “Let’s be clear, playing Mainoo is also a risk. He hasn’t got anything like the experience honed over seasons that you would normally want for a player in such a pivotal position.

“But the first three games Mainoo started for United were away at Goodison Park, St James’ Park and Anfield. I remember thinking that not only could he play and handle the ball, but that his temperament was outstanding.

“He was player of the match in the FA Cup final. There have been times when it has been going badly wrong for United and he and Bruno Fernandes have been the only ones to demonstrate composure in the difficult moments. I’ve no doubts he can handle the occasion.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Thoughts on Mainoo being in line to start on Sunday? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Kobbie Mainoo, Manchester United, Premier League, England, Euro 2024