Sky pundit suggests Chelsea player shouldn't start for England vs Senegal

'Might be time': Sky pundit suggests Gareth Southgate should leave Chelsea player out of his England XI tomorrow

Alan Smith has suggested England manager Gareth Southgate should leave Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling out of the starting line-up ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup tie against Senegal.

For Three Lions boss Southgate, he’ll be having huge headache selections this week for Sunday’s last-16 fixture.

England will compete with African champions Senegal for a spot in the World Cup quarter-finals, with the former the favourites to progress.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Southgate does include any Chelsea players in his starting XI. Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling both started England’s opening two group matches at this World Cup, but sat out of the Wales game.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Raheem Sterling against Senegal

Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith has been discussing what side England should put out on Sunday.

He suggests it might be the right time to leave out Sterling, despite him bringing so much top-level experience to the team. Southgate has proven over the years he really trusts him, too.

When asked which England wingers he would start against Senegal, Smith told Sky Sports: “It’s going to be difficult to leave out [Marcus] Rashford but that’s not to say he can’t. He’s one of those players that can make a big impact as a sub. I’d love to see [Phil] Foden in there again. And I’d like to see [Bukayo] Saka. Maybe those two.

He added on Sterling: “It might be time to pass the baton for this one game, we’ll see. He’s never disappointed or let Gareth Southgate down in the past. Of all those names we’ve been talking about, perhaps he’s been the one that hasn’t quite hit his straps.”

Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

There were doubts over Sterling going into the Euro 2020 competition, but he managed to turn up and stand out as a talisman in big moments.

The Chelsea winger played well against Iran earlier in the World Cup tournament, so you would expect him to feel good going into the Senegal tie.

It’s interesting to highlight that Ray Parlour is another pundit in the media who wouldn’t start with Sterling tomorrow.

There’s going to be some top-class attackers not starting tomorrow regardless of Southgate’s decision. Therefore, it could be a match that’s decided by the quality that comes off the bench in the second-half, with the England squad fairly stacked compared to most rival nations.

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Dom is a Chelsea supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than six years. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016, he now writes exclusively for The Chelsea Chronicle covering news, analysis and match coverage. He enjoys the dream position of writing about his boyhood club, which seems to be involved in more drama every single day than an episode of The Bill. Aside from his love for Chelsea, he supports and follows the England cricket team. He also fancies himself as the Sunday League version of Michael Essien.