England head coach, Gareth Southgate, has explained his team selection for the 2022 FIFA World Cup tie against Wales after dropping Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Chelsea’s Mason Mount.
Having selected the same starting XI in England’s first two matches against Iran and USA, respectively, Southgate made some changes for Tuesday’s final group B clash against Wales.
Southgate opted to feature the likes of Kyle Walker, Marcus Rashford, Jordan Henderson, and Phil Foden in England’s starting XI at the expense of Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier and Raheem Sterling.
Explaining his team selection against Wales, Southgate said at his pre-match press conference before the kick-off: “We think [Foden and Rashford] can cause Wales problems and we felt it was important to get some freshness in the team as well.
“They have both trained really well and we are looking forward to them playing tonight.
“Kyle is ready to start now and we think it is good to get him in the team. We want to get the result tonight that takes us into the next round. For Kyle to get, some football will be helpful.
“We have not talked about it being a derby. There has been a lot of noise around us and around this game, but we’ve got to focus on our football and make sure our work rate and endeavour is higher than the opponent.”