Jadon Sancho set for first Euro 2020 start as Southgate reverts to back four 3 months ago

Jadon Sancho set for first Euro 2020 start as Southgate reverts to back four

Are we still going to throw our toys out of the pram?

Jadon Sancho is in line for his first start of Euro 2020 tonight as England face Ukraine in the quarter-finals, reports The Athletic's David Ornstein.

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Sancho has only made one cameo appearance for the Three Lions so far, much to the frustration of England fans who have been so impressed by his prolific form in the Bundesliga.

The 21-year-old winger's future has been the subject of much speculation over the past year or two, but this week finally concluded the never-ending saga of when - not if - he would join Manchester United.

With a deal agreed and his future settled, the mercurial winger looks set to play from the right wing against Ukraine, with Southgate reverting to a back four.

Mason Mount could also return to the starting XI, having missed the round of 16 tie against Germany after an isolation period, according to reports.

Mount started England's first two group games before Jack Grealish took his place for the third game against Czech Republic.

Neither started against Germany, as Southgate opted to match them up man for man and play a 3-4-3 shape, with Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka supporting Harry Kane in attack. Grealish's impact off the bench, playing a part in both goals, will have done nothing to simmer the calls for him to start this game.

"Now, this is the next step, the next opportunity – the opportunity to get to a second major tournament semi-final and you’ve got to go back to Sir Alf’s time to be able to do that," Southgate told reporters ahead of this quarter final tie.

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"It’s another chance for the team to make history. The mindset has got to be about Saturday. Not beyond Saturday. There’s not a consideration in our heads beyond Saturday and making sure we’re prepared for this game with Ukraine."

He also insisted his team selection will not be decided by the threat of a suspension for players currently carrying a yellow card.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips both picked up bookings against Germany, and one more tonight would rule them out of the semi-final (should England make it through.)

Harry Maguire is also on a yellow card but is expected to start alongside John Stones in a back four.

Whichever combination of players Southgate picks for this tie, what should be clear now is that he will do so with a plan in mind.

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