England team news 'leaked' as Gareth Southgate set to make bold call for Slovakia tie

Cole Palmer prepares to come on for England vs Slovenia
-Credit: (Image: Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

Kobbie Mainoo is reportedly set to start in England's crucial Euro 2024 last 16 match against Slovakia on Sunday. The Manchester United midfielder made a great impression during the second half of the Three Lions' disappointing goalless draw with Slovenia on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate has been grappling with finding the right balance in his midfield. He started both of England’s matches against Serbia and Denmark with Trent Alexander-Arnold alongside Declan Rice.

However, the Liverpool star, who is more accustomed to playing at right-back, seemed out of place in the middle of the park and the experiment was abandoned ahead of the Slovenia game. Conor Gallagher replaced Alexander-Arnold, but the Three Lions struggled to control the midfield with the Chelsea ace next to Rice.

Mainoo came on for Gallagher at half-time and he seems to have done enough to earn a starting spot in England's upcoming tie. According to the Daily Telegraph, the 19-year-old is expected to start the game.

It remains uncertain who will make way for the Red Devils youngster, but Gallagher's position appears to be under threat given his lacklustre performance against Slovenia. The Blues midfielder also carries a yellow card after being booked against Denmark.

There has been a growing call for Mainoo and Adam Wharton to be given more playing time. Some fans and pundits are also suggesting a change in formation might help Southgate extract the best from his underperforming squad.

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Despite guiding England to the Euro 2020 final, the 53 year old was met with a barrage of empty beer cups from disgruntled fans following the draw with Slovenia in Cologne. However, defender Marc Guehi has come out in support of Southgate.

"He has been fantastic for England. If you look at his record, it speaks for itself," Guehi said during Thursday's press conference. "Everyone is behind the manager and we have a really close tight-knit group just focused on the next group.

"Everyone appreciates him, especially me. He gave me my debut for England and he's showed so much confidence in me. I am really grateful and I'm sure the rest of the team is as well."

Despite some lacklustre performances, England topped Group C. They secured a 1-0 victory over Serbia in Gelsenkirchen in their opening game before being held to a 1-1 draw by Denmark in Frankfurt.

Mainoo had an impressive breakout season with Man Utd, even scoring in their FA Cup final victory over rivals Manchester City.