Gareth Southgate will ring the changes for England’s Wembley homecoming against Andorra – with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford in line for his Three Lions debut
- Gareth Southgate will make significant changes to his team on Sunday
- England take on Andorra in their first Wembley appearance since the Euros
- Patrick Bamford is in line for his Three Lions debut after being called up
- Conor Coady and Jordan Henderson are also likely to start on Sunday
England boss Gareth Southgate will ring the changes for Sunday’s Wembley homecoming against Andorra.
The Three Lions head coach will rip up the team that thrashed Hungary on Thursday for England’s first game at the national stadium since their heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on July 11.
The likes of Conor Coady and Jordan Henderson, who both received high praise from the England coaching staff during the tournament for their team-ethos despite playing peripheral figures during the unforgettable tournament, are set to come into the team.
England boss Gareth Southgate will ring the changes for Sunday’s Wembley homecoming
Conor Coady and Jordan Henderson are set to come into the team after being praised for their team ethos during the Euros
Bukayo Saka, who missed the decisive penalty in the shoot-out, could also play a role against the Andorrans and can expect a rapturous ovation from the Wembley crowd.
Patrick Bamford could make his debut on Sunday, just days after receiving his first international call-up.
However, Southgate insists sentiment will not play a role in his team selection for the World Cup qualifier as he prioritises the physical well being of his players ahead of Wednesday’s tough trip to Poland.
‘It is not so much sentiment but we have a really strong squad and at this stage of the season players are still getting up to full fitness,’ said Southgate.
Patrick Bamford could make his debut on Sunday, just days after receiving his first call-up
‘To be able to rotate and use the depth is very important. We have a group of players who deserve to play and any of them can go into the team and do a job as they have done when they have been in the past.
‘Absolutely we will make a lot of changes, but what will be nice is that for those players who play on Sunday it will be the first game there since the Euros and they will get a fantastic reception I am sure.
‘They deserve that hugely.’ One player likely to be rested is Raheem Sterling, who produced yet another excellent performance in an England shirt, providing the opener before putting the team’s second on a plate for Harry Kane.
The Manchester City forward has scored 16 goals in his last 24 international appearances and is arguably England’s most important player heading into next year’s World Cup.
‘He has been consistently one of our most important players, I know it is great that we haven’t got one star player who everybody ends up talking about which is remarkable when you consider we have the likes of Kane and Sterling and others in the group,’ explained Southgate.
Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka can expect a rapturous ovation from the Wembley crowd
‘It is always about the collective but his performances have been so important to us for such a long time. He really sets the tone with the way he works without the ball.
‘When you have a creative talent like he is that is prepared to really commit to the team and weigh in with the goals and assists that he has over a long period of time now, he has been a fabulous player for us to work with and he is so important to what we do.
‘He knows what we think of him, he’s very comfortable in our environment.
‘Of course there’s incredible competition for places at Manchester City as well as here but for us he has just been consistently a player who has delivered in matches and we have had complete faith in him.
Raheem Sterling is likely to be rested after another impressive performance for his country
‘He has more than rewarded that faith in the goals he has scored. This summer he was outstanding.
‘I do think he doesn’t really get the recognition he deserves. He often goes under the radar and almost seems to have to continually prove himself.
‘I was asked about that in the summer so let’s keep hoping he has to keep proving himself in the way he did again against Hungary.’