'I don't see': Mourinho makes strong Euro 2020 final claim Leeds and West Ham fans will love
Jose Mourinho has told TalkSPORT that he doesn’t see England shifting to a 5-3–2 formation in the Euro 2020 final due to the importance of keeping Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and West Ham United’s Declan Rice in front of the back four.
England have played a multitude of different formations at the tournament, but Phillips and Rice have always been mainstays.
Recently England have set up in a 4-2-3-1 system, which sees the Leeds and West Ham enforcers tasked with protecting their side’s defence.
England have still only conceded one goal at the tournament.
But the Three Lions could face their toughest test yet on Sunday, when they face Italy.
The Italians have one of the best midfield threes in the world, and Mourinho has now stressed how important Phillips and Rice will be in the final.
“Looking at the way Italy plays I don’t see a reason to change. Italy’s power is in midfield, these three players – Barella, Jorginho and Verratti – is where they have the power,” he said.
“That midfield is the engine of the team, the midfield players are better than the attacking players and it is there that they have all the control of the games.
“I don’t see England in any need of playing a back five. I see England in a great need of keeping that great couple of Rice and Phillips, because it is there that the game is going to be decided in terms of more dominance or less dominance.”
Both Phillips and Rice have only served to increase their reputations at the European Championships so far.
The pair have been nothing short of brilliant, despite playing for clubs which are typically seen to be outside the Premier League’s ‘elite’.
Phillips and Rice now look almost certain to start, even though Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is fully fit, which is testament to how highly rated they are by Gareth Southgate.
If England can win on Sunday, then they will lift silverware for the very first time since 1966.