Southgate: I won't rest England players at risk of ban for Ukraine

Gareth Southgate reveals he WON’T rest players at risk of a suspension in England’s quarter-final showdown against Ukraine despite key men Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips AND Harry Maguire being just one booking away from missing a potential semi-final

  • England play Ukraine in Saturday night’s crucial Euro 2020 quarter-final in Rome
  • Gareth Southgate has many players who risk suspension for a possible semi-final
  • Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice are just a card away from a ban 
  • Southgate claims players will not be rested because of their suspensions status
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Gareth Southgate has warned England players in danger of being suspended for a potential semi-final that he will not accept anything less than total commitment.

Southgate is adamant he will not decide his team to face Ukraine based on the fact that four of his players — Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Phil Foden — would be suspended for the semis if they were booked tonight.

‘I was on a yellow before the semi-final with Germany at Euro 96 and would have missed the final had we ever got there, had I picked up a yellow in the semi,’ said Southgate.

Gareth Southgate (left) has warned his players who risk a suspension to give him total effort

Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice (left to right) all risk a semi-final ban if they get booked against Ukraine and England go through

‘You still have to be committed, avoid unnecessary yellows if you can but accept you might mistime something.

‘You have to have the same commitment because if you don’t we are not going to get to the semi-final.’

Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that Southgate was planning to ring the changes for tonight’s quarter-final in Rome amid disciplinary and fitness concerns, while also reverting to a back four despite playing with a three-man defence in the historic win over Germany.

Bukayo Saka, who has started England’s previous two matches, is suffering with a knock and is a doubt. His possible absence may open the door to Jadon Sancho making his first start of the tournament.

Phil Foden (left) also risks a suspension and Jadon Sancho (right) could get a rare England start

Mason Mount is set to return to the starting XI after his Covid-related quarantine period expired, and Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling will keep their places.

Luke Shaw is expected to remain at left back, with Kieran Trippier understood to have a slight muscular problem.

Maguire, despite his booking, will continue alongside John Stones in central defence with Kyle Walker again at right back.

Southgate faces a major dilemma in central midfield, given Rice and Phillips are both a booking away from missing the semi-final.

Southgate says those with yellow cards to their name will not be rested for the quarter-final

Jordan Henderson would be in line to replace either midfielder in the starting XI, but Southgate has hinted he will stick with Phillips and Rice.

When asked whether players on yellow cards would be a factor in his team selection, Southgate, who rested Foden from the final group game against the Czech Republic because he was on a booking, said: ‘None at all.

‘We have been to three semi-finals in 60 years — the thought we can rest players to reach a semi-final — I can’t think of a nation that would do that.’

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