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Kobbie Mainoo tipped to START for England against Denmark following his message to Gareth Southgate



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Kobbie Mainoo has been tipped to start for England ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold as Gareth Southgate prepares his squad to face Denmark.

England kicked off their 2024 European Championship campaign with a 1-0 victory over Serbia, highlighted by a superb header from Jude Bellingham.

Manchester United‘s rising star, Kobbie Mainoo, made his competitive debut for Gareth Southgate‘s squad in the closing moments of the match, while Luke Shaw, returning from injury, was named on the bench but did not play.

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Despite the crucial win, Serbia proved to be a formidable opponent, frequently testing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford throughout the 90 minutes.

England will next face Denmark on Thursday afternoon in their second group game of the tournament, where Mainoo and Shaw will face off against fellow United stars Rasmus Højlund and Christian Eriksen.

Gary Neville, the former England and United full-back, believes that Mainoo could now start on Thursday ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield alongside Declan Rice due to the better balance that England would then possess.

“Balance demands that, as the tournament progresses, Alexander-Arnold may be sacrificed in midfield, and Kobbie Mainoo played instead,” Neville said on The Overlap.

“Every good team has a player who can receive a ball on the half turn, set the rhythm of the team and control a game. I love Bellingham, Rice and Alexander-Arnold. They are all amazing players. But I’m not convinced the current midfield three can provide that.

“With Mainoo in midfield there’s a different dynamic which might help the team. If Mainoo is in midfield, it would allow Rice to make those runs forward at least two or three times in a game. That’s a real asset for England.”

This follows a fantastic message in the media from Mainoo explaining that he is ready to play whenever he is needed by Southgate.

“I’m ready to play, whether that’s off the bench or starting,” Mainoo told reporters on Tuesday afternoon at England’s training base in Blankenhain, east Germany.

“Obviously, there are other great midfielders in the squad in the Premier League or abroad, like Jude [Bellingham]. I’m trying to train hard and be ready when I’m called upon.”

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