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Sancho not even on bench for England vs Croatia, left out of matchday squad

Jadon Sancho has been left out of England’s matchday squad completely for the Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.

The 21-year-old starlet will not even be available from the bench as Gareth Southgate has opted to name him as one of the three to miss out.

Sancho inspects the Wembley pitch – but he won’t play any part against Croatia

Each nation has brought a 26-man squad to the tournament with just 23 allowed to be selected for matchdays.

England’s three exclusions for the Croatia opener are Sancho, Ben Chilwell and the injured Harry Maguire.

Gareth Southgate surprisingly turned to Kieran Tripper to play on the left of the back four, with Luke Shaw on the bench.

Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice start at the base of a midfield that has Mason Mount in a more advanced role, with Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden playing either side of captain Harry Kane.

Jack Grealish has to settle for a place on the bench, along with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who is still not at full fitness.

England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Mings, Trippier, Phillips, Rice, Foden, Mount, Sterling, Kane.

England Subs: Shaw, Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Rashford, Dean Henderson, Coady, Calvert-Lewin, White, Johnstone, James, Saka, Bellingham.

Croatia XI: Livakovic, Vrsaljko, Vida, Caleta-Car, Gvardiol, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic.

Croatia Subs: Brekalo, Kalinic, Vlasic, Budimir, Pasalic, Skoric, Badelj,
Petkovic, Juranovic, Sluga, Bradaric, Ivanusec.

Trippier is playing on the left despite being a right-back by trade

Getty – Pool

Trippier is playing on the left despite being a right-back by trade

Question marks have already been raised over Southgate’s decision to start Trippier at left-back over Shaw or Chilwell.

talkSPORT pundit, and ex-England striker, Darren Bent said: “Hold on a second – you’re picking a right-back to play left-back ahead of two very good left-backs who play there every week?

“That’s what I don’t understand.

“Kieran Trippier, I understand he’s very good and very versatile, but we’ve got two very good left-backs that have been playing in that position all season.”

Shaw has enjoyed an impressive season at Manchester United

AFP

Shaw has enjoyed an impressive season at Manchester United

Perry Groves added: “How would you feel if you’re Chilwell or Shaw?

“You’re going, ‘Hold on a minute, we’re the two best left-backs in the country, both in brilliant form.’

“Chilwell was outstanding in the Champions League final.

“And also, in the shape of the team, I’d rather have an average left-footed left-back than a very good right-footed left-back because it changes the angle of the game completely.

Chilwell won the Champions League with Chelsea but didn’t make the matchday squad against Croatia

Getty

Chilwell won the Champions League with Chelsea but didn’t make the matchday squad against Croatia

“When it’s coming out on the left-hand-side, Trippier’s gonna always come back inside.

“Imagine Stuart Pearce if they said, ‘Sorry Pearcey, you’re not playing, Gary Stevens is playing at left-back.’

“The England dynamics in the squad, that I don’t get. That I cannot understand, that makes no football sense whatsoever.”

Bent concluded: “I’m with Perry, from a footballing standpoint it makes no sense.

“Luke Shaw and Chilwell have been very, very good this season playing at left-back.”

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