Neville says England will find it 'tough' to drop star attacking trio

Gary Neville insists Gareth Southgate will find it ‘tough’ to drop Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish or Raheem Sterling for last-16 tie after trio’s star performances in victory over Czech Republic

  • England brought in Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish for first Euro 2020 starts
  • Duo produced excellent displays, combining to allow Raheem Sterling to score
  • England beat Czech Republic 1-0 to finish top of Group D in encouraging display
  • Saka was man of the match on what was his first major tournament appearance 
  • Gary Neville now thinks it would be tough to drop any of the attacking trio
  • However, Ashley Cole believes Mason Mount still needs to be recalled 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Gary Neville claims England’s attacking stars who helped spearhead them to victory over the Czech Republic will be tough to drop heading into the last-16 of Euro 2020.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal at Wembley following a move where Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka – both making their first starts of the tournament – combined on an impressive night for the trio as England topped Group D.

With Phil Foden having been rested before the game and Mason Mount ruled out due to having to self isolate as part of covid protocols, Southgate had to tinker with his team for the group stage finale which produced arguably England’s best attacking display of the tournament so far.

Bukayo Saka shows off his man of the match trophy following his excellent England display

Gary Neville believes Saka as well as Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling would be tough to drop for England following their encouraging performances in the win over Czech Republic

Neville now believes the performance of the trio makes it incredibly difficult to drop any of them for the knock-out stages. 

‘Tonight we have seen Saka, Sterling and Grealish,’ Neville told ITV. ‘These three have put the likes of [Marcus] Rashford and Foden under real pressure.

‘It wouldn’t surprise me if Gareth stuck with these three. I think Foden will come back in but it’ll be tough to leave one of those three out after this.’

Saka picked up the man of the match award following his first appearance for England at a major tournament and Neville also stated his excellent display will have inspired his team-mates as well as put pressure on the likes of Foden for their first-team place in the squad.   

Sterling celebrates scoring the only goal of the game which fired England top of Group D

Grealish is congratulated on his display by manager Gareth Southgate as he is substituted during the comfortable Euro 2020 victory at Wembley

‘I’m hoping Foden is watching Saka and thought that’s what we expect from him’, the former England right-back added.

‘He’s driving at people, that’s what we expected from Foden in the first two games but we didn’t get it, we know how exceptional he is. I think Saka could have inspired his team-mates tonight. 

Meanwhile Ashley Cole believes Southgate should still recall Mason Mount for the last-16 tie which is due to take place at Wembley next Tuesday.

Cole claims the Chelsea star will be crucial to a pressing game which could be needed should they come to face Germany in the knock-out stages. 

Phil Foden was rested by Southgate having started England’s first two games of Euro 2020

Ashley Cole believes England should recall Mason Mount when he is available again

‘Gareth mentioned about Mason being ready, I would still play him,’ the former England left-back said.

‘He presses, he’s aggressive, he wins you the ball back. It’s difficult to drop top players and I think he’s proved it for Chelsea and been very important for this England team in winning the ball.

‘He gives a licence to [Kalvin] Phillips to back him up and get on it. He’s proven his worth, if you play a team like Germany you have to press.’

England boss Gareth Southgate faces a tough call on who to pick in his attack for the last-16

However, ex-England winger Andros Townsend believes Mount won’t have enough preparation time coming out of self-isolation to be ready for a potential tie with Germany, to which Cole disagreed.

Townsend said: ‘Under normal circumstances I would say Mason Mount would be first name on the team sheet but if you’re playing a team like Germany you need to be doing at least two or three days of prep work going through it. If Mount can’t be a part of that…’

Cole replied: ‘I still would go with the players I trust. I would still play him.’

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