Rio Ferdinand names his England starting XI and prediction ahead of Euro 2020 opener vs Croatia

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Rio Ferdinand has picked an ultra attacking England starting XI for Euro 2020 and would rather the Three Lions go out on their sword than limp out of the competition.

England 's tournament starts on Sunday against Croatia – the team that knocked them out of the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Gareth Southgate' s men then take on historic rivals Scotland before playing their final group game against Czech Republic.

The Three Lions won both of their pre-tournament friendlies – against Austria and Romania – 1-0. But with various injuries in the squad and several players exhausted from a taxing Premier League season, fans are yet to see England's strongest starting XI.

Harry Maguire is still recovering from the same injury that kept him out of the Europa League final while Marcus Rashford has struggled all season long with various niggling issues.

Rio Ferdinand has named an attacking England line-up
(Image: BT Sport)

Ferdinand has taken into account all of those problems and more as he named his strongest XI based on current availability.

He told Mirror Sport: "My England starting XI, right now, with everyone that’s fit I’d go, because I think he’s going to play three at the back:

"Pickford; James, Stones, Shaw; Alexander-Arnold, Mount, Rice, Saka; Sancho, Kane, Foden.

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"Rashford looks like he’s carrying an injury and needs a rest. Sterling hasn’t been starting yet so I want him to come on and impact the game.

"I can’t see Henderson starting the first game when he hasn’t played for three months”

Jordan Henderson made a return to match action against Romania, coming on as a substitute at half-time and missing a penalty.

What should England's starting line-up vs Croatia be? Comment below.

Asked if he would change to have to holding midfielders against the tournament's stronger opposition, such as France, Ferdinand replied: “Yeah if it was France I might play a little bit different.

"I might change the full-backs, pick the ones that are a bit better defensively. Maybe move Shaw to left wing-back and bring another centre-back in.

"I just think we’ve always limped out of tournaments, I’d rather us go out on our sword. Go out and attack teams. Yeah you’ve got to have a good balance but there’s no point going out"

Rio Ferdinand was pranked by fellow pundit Robbie Savage.
(Image: PA)

When asked how far he thinks England will get in the competition, Ferdinand said: "I think they’ll win the group but they’ll have a hard draw after that."

Euro 2020 gets underway on Friday with Turkey taking on Italy at 8pm. The tournament soon gets up to speed with three fixtures the following day – including Wales' opening clash against Switzerland.

Robbie Savage unveils a painting to Rio Ferdinand, depicting the former England footballer draped in a Welsh flag as part of a ‘Hall of Fame’ set up by Robbie and UEFA EURO 2020 Official Partner Heineken, ahead of this summer's tournament.

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