‘You don’t need Rice and Phillips to beat Ukraine’: Jose Mourinho claims England’s star midfielders should be RESTED by Gareth Southgate along with defender Harry Maguire for Euro 2020 quarter-final to avoid suspension for a potential semi-final
- Jose Mourinho says England can rest three stars for their Euro 2020 last-eight tie
- The Three Lions face Ukraine on Saturday and are three wins away from glory
- Mourinho says Declan Rice, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips should be rested
- All three run the risk of being suspended for the last four should they get booked
- Mourinho claims Tyrone Mings should be picked instead of Maguire in defence
Jose Mourinho says Gareth Southgate should rest Harry Maguire, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips for England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final with Ukraine on Saturday.
The Three Lions trio, along with Phil Foden, have all picked up a booking at the tournament so far so would be suspended for the semi-final at Wembley should they receive another yellow card and England go through to the last four.
Mourinho believes that Maguire’s pre-tournament fitness concerns and Tyrone Mings’ excellent displays for England this summer mean Saturday’s tie in Rome would be the perfect chance to give the centre-back a break before the final rounds.
Jose Mourinho says Gareth Southgate (above) should rest Harry Maguire, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips for Saturday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final with Ukraine
The trio are one yellow card away from missing a potential semi-final should England win
He told talkSPORT: ‘I think for Maguire it would be perfect to rest. It would mean the yellow card would not stop him playing in the semi-final but also not (cause an) accumulation in fatigue for someone who did not prepare well.
‘Maguire is an important player for the team (but) Mings is playing so so well. Maguire didn’t have a good preparation for the competition.’
And when asked about Rice and Phillips, Mourinho added: ‘I would say rest them both. You don’t need both Rice and Phillips to beat Ukraine.
Mourinho claims losing both Rice and Phillips would be ‘problematic’ in the Euro 2020 semis
‘I would say maximum one of them is needed but you have Jordan Henderson that I want to believe that is in condition to play.
‘You have other, younger players who are fresh with conditions, desire and motivation to play and (there is) the way Philips and Rice they worked in the last match, the way Rice finished the game completely exhausted with cramps. I believe that the semi-final will be much more difficult than the quarter-final.’
England battled through to the last eight of the tournament by beating Germany 2-0, though both Rice and Phillips picked up yellow cards in the memorable Wembley win, while Kieran Trippier also picked up a minor muscular problems.
Meanwhile, attacker Foden – who started England’s first two group stage games but failed to score – has been unused in the two matches since then due to his yellow card and the rise in form of Bukayo Saka.
Mourinho believes Tyrone Mings (left) should come in for Maguire (right) at centre-back
Rice (middle) and Phillips (right) starred in the midfield for England as they beat Germany
Mourinho believes there is no issue of running the risk of Foden’s suspension due to England’s pick of attacking options, but says the idea of losing both Phillips and Rice for a potential semi-final would be ‘complicated’.
Southgate has midfielders Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham at his disposal if needed, while Mason Mount is also back from Covid-19 isolation.
He added: ‘I don’t think Foden is a problem. Between Rashford, Foden, Sancho – you have lots of options and the difference between them are characteristics and not potential.
Phil Foden is the other player who would miss the semi-final should he be booked on Saturday
‘The two engines in midfield, Rice and Phillips, losing both would be complicated. To lose one, you can manage it.
‘From the fatigue point of view, I would try internally to understand with the technology available to make a decision about which one needs more of a rest.
‘Rice and Phillips, I imagine for the semi-final or final, they have to be picked 100 per cent.’