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Mourinho makes Grealish comparison that Aston Villa fans will love, picks England XI to face Croatia on Sunday

Jose Mourinho has told TalkSPORT (Friday, 9:20AM) that Jack Grealish should start for England on Sunday afternoon against Croatia. The Aston Villa skipper was included in the Portuguese man’s XI ahead of the Three Lions opener. Mourinho also compared him to Portuguese icon Luis Figo.

Grealish, 25, has enjoyed his best 12 months of his burgeoning career. Playing 26 Premier League matches, missing 12 due to injury, the Villa skipper has been involved in 18 goals. Scoring six times, Grealish created 12 more. Now, he is on the verge of starting for England on Sunday.

Having impressed against Romania and Austria in the warm-up games, Grealish is now expected to be in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI. Mourinho agrees. He believes Grealish should start on the left in a 4-2-3-1 alongside Mason Mount and Phil Foden – and compared him to Figo.

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“Grealish is untouchable, the best position for Grealish is coming from the left,” Mourinho said. “[Marcus] Rashford can only play on the left, when he is on the right, he is lost. He is very good on the left, but Grealish for me is tremendous, he reminds me a little bit of Luis Figo. I had Figo in different periods in my career, and his last season at Inter.

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“Even in his last season at inter, he wanted the ball and would solve problems. The way Grealish gets the ball, wins penalties, I like him very much. Grealish on the left. Mount as a 10. I would play Foden, Mount and Grealish. That’s why I’m saying [Kalvin] Phillips with [Declan] Rice.”

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Mourinho selection is perfect with Villa ace Grealish starting

The talk leading up to the tournament is how Southgate is going to include the enormous attacking talent England have. Grealish, Mount and Foden have been brilliant but so has Jadon Sancho. Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling have not been at their best, but they offer more experience.

So, to be able to combine Grealish, Mount and Foden behind Harry Kane – England would need a defensive basis to allow that trio to shine. Giving them the freedom means they need a defensive base and combining Phillips with Rice makes sense. Mourinho has got it bang on.

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