HYS: Should Gareth Southgate name an unchanged team against Croatia?

Gareth Southgate has shown impressive loyalty to his England players throughout their unexpected run into the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling are among the players who have failed to replicate their club form but Southgate has kept the faith in the face of calls to drop the duo, persisting with his first-choice eleven when they’ve been fit.

As the furore surrounding Southgate’s decision to rest players for the final group game against Belgium showed, many football fans buy into the idea of not changing a winning team.


However, there are alterations that could be made. The tactical demands of the match against Croatia, accumulated fatigue and underwhelming displays all could be used as justifications for tinkering.

Ashley Young has enjoyed a solid tournament and his set-piece delivery is what is likely keeping him in the side ahead of Danny Rose, who is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt.

However, Young’s propensity to cut back onto his right foot can slow down England attacks in open play and Rose made a strong impact when he came on against Colombia.

Elsewhere, another Tottenham player who may be considered as a replacement for a United one is Eric Dier. Jesse Lingard has enjoyed a brilliant tournament but central midfield is where Croatia are strongest.

The holding midfielder is the most obvious choice to come in if Southgate decided to beef up the engine room, although he did look sluggish when he came on against Colombia.

Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a powerful option, who would retain attacking thrust, while Fabian Delph marries energy and discipline and showed that against Sweden.

Although two Red Devils may be at risk, one member of Jose Mourinho’s squad may be hoping to come in against Croatia.

Sterling’s movement was excellent against Sweden but he struggled in front of goal, especially with one first half chance where his decision-making was poor.

Marcus Rashford could offer the same level of dynamism and theoretically better finishing, although he did miss a sitter against Belgium.

That’s why we’re asking you – should Southgate name an unchanged side for England’s biggest game since 1990? Let us know by voting in the poll below…