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Roy Keane shrugs off Jose Mourinho’s “dangerous” England vs Ukraine advice

Roy Keane has dismissed the idea that England should rest any of their star players against Ukraine, claiming it’s a “dangerous route to go down”.

England face Ukraine on Saturday night in Rome, knowing a win would book them a place in a Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley.

The Three Lions are overwhelming favourites to reach the last four, particularly after their opponent’s gruelling last-16 win over Sweden.

Gareth Southgate has a number of selection dilemmas ahead of the game in Rome, with four of his regular starting XI on yellow cards.

Phil Foden, Harry Maguire, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have all been cautioned once so far in the tournament and are just one away from a ban.

Kalvin Phillips is one of four England players walking a disciplinary tightrope

UEFA rules mean that yellows are not wiped until the end of this round, leaving them all on a tightrope for the potential semi.

Jose Mourinho said he would not risk those close to suspension against Ukraine and instead give them rest ready for the latter stages of the competition.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Mourinho said: “I can answer without any pressure. I would say rest them both. You don’t need Rice and Phillips to beat Ukraine. Maximum one of them is needed.

“Jordan Henderson I want to believe is in condition to play. You have other players with fresh conditions and desire and motivation to play.

“The way Rice finished the game, he was completely exhausted, cramps! I believe that the semi-final will be much more difficult than the quarter-final.

“England don’t need to take some of their players to extreme situations of fatigue. A rest to Rice and Phillips would be fantastic, then to play in the semi-finals and final in the maximum of potential.”

Roy Keane has urged England to not look beyond Ukraine
Roy Keane has urged England to not look beyond Ukraine

Who should England start in midfield against Ukraine? Let us know in the comments

He continued: “Maguire didn’t have a good preparation to the tournament so I think this would be the perfect opportunity for Maguire to take a rest,” he continued.

“The rest wouldn’t mean not to take the yellow card to stop him playing in the semi-final but also not an accumulation of fatigue in a player.”

However, Manchester United legend Roy Keane believes England are in no position to rest on their laurels and urged Southgate to pick his strongest possible XI.

“I’d just look at the next game,” he said on ITV. “This idea of resting players for a quarter-final of a big tournament, that’s a dangerous route to go down.

“Gareth’s got to focus on picking the best team that he thinks will get over the line, and he’s done a brilliant job so far.

“This idea of resting players, that’s a dangerous road to go down.”

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