LONDON (Reuters) – England midfielder Jack Grealish and winger Bukayo Saka were given their first starts at Euro 2020 along with experienced defender Harry Maguire for the Group D match against Czech Republic at Wembley on Tuesday.
Grealish comes into midfield after Mason Mount was forced to isolate along with England team mate Ben Chilwell after they came into close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour who tested positive for COVID-19 after Friday’s 0-0 draw.
The inclusion of Saka was a surprise given England manager Gareth Southgate also has Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, yet to feature, who plays in a similar role on the right flank.
Maguire, who has been recovering from injury, takes the place of Tyrone Mings alongside John Stones in the centre of defence.
There is no place in the starting lineup for Phil Foden who had started the opening two games.
Czech Republic were unchanged from the team which drew with Croatia on Friday.
England, already through to the last 16, can secure top spot in the group and home advantage for the next round with a victory while a draw would be enough for the Czechs, who have also qualified for the knockout stage, to clinch top spot.
Czech Republic: Tomas Vaclik; Ondrej Celustka, Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Kalas, Tomas Holes, Jan Boril; Vladimir Darida (captain), Lukas Masopust, Jakub Jankto, Tomas Soucek; Patrik Schick
England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Declan Rice, Jack Grealish, Kalvin Phillips, Bukayo Saka; Harry Kane (captain), Raheem Sterling
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Ken Ferris)