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Gareth Southgate has explained why he left Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho out of England's squad for their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.
The Three Lions boss opted to start Kieran Trippier at left-back with Chilwell and Luke Shaw missing out.
Southgate made a few other surprise calls as Jack Grealish could only make the bench while Dortmund superstar Sancho, like Chilwell, was omitted from the matchday squad.
And the England boss insists he went with the Atletico Madrid full-back for his one-on-one defending to thwart Croatia's danger out wide.
He also revealed that Sancho and Chilwell's absences were a tactical decision as he could only cover certain positions.
Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell were omitted from the matchday squad
(Image: The FA via Getty Images)
Did Gareth Southgate get his team selection right? Comment below
He said: "With Kieran (Trippier) we feel is very experienced player, a good one v one player to stop the crosses coming in.
"His communication and leadership will be a help, we have changes in the back line and his experience will help us with the two boys that are out of the squad.
"With Harry Maguire it's such a shame we had to name 23 and could only cover certain positions.
Gareth Southgate explains why he's playing Kieran Trippier at left-back for England
Luka Modric attempts to repeat World Cup 2018 mind games ahead of England vs Croatia
"I don't like the fact we are having to leave players out of a major tournament it's not fair on them.
Southgate also included out-of-form Raheem Sterling from the start over Grealish and Marcus Rashford.
And the England manager admitted the call was based on wanting to keep continuity from their previous matches.
He added: "That was our front six in our games in March and we had some continuity with that in those matches. I think they have a lot of understanding.
"We have fabulous depth to bring into the game, we know that Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish are really pushing for starts – and we're going to need all of those players.
"This is going to be a game where substitutes are more important than ever."
England boss Gareth Southgate arrives at Wembley
(Image: UEFA via Getty Images)
Boos were heard at Wembley as England players took the knee before the match but cheers drowned out the majority of them.
Southgate insists he can't control what individuals do, but welcomes the supporters who are behind the team.
He said: “We want that support, we know we will have it during the game, whatever happens before is for individual people to decide.
We know what we are doing and our focus is totally on the football”
Southgate also gave his best wishes to Christian Eriksen who collapsed on Friday during Denmark vs Finland. The Inter Milan was taken to hospital but remains in a stable condition.
He added: "Firstly we hope he's recovering well and our thoughts are with him and his family, his team-mates, who I thought were incredible, as well. And everybody involved with Denmark.
"We have players who were very close with him and played with him and it was difficult for them to watch, but thankfully the news sounds positive."