After one of the most thrilling group stages in World Cup history, the Round of 16 has also finally ended and now the tournament has got the 8 quarter-finalists who are France, England, Portugal, Morocco, Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil and Croatia.
In the quarters, there is a massive clash as England would take on the defending champions France and for that age, Southgate would need to play his best 11. However, it was widely reported in the English media yesterday that Declan Rice had missed a training session with the team due to illness and there was a possibility that he could miss the quarter-finals.
But today Kalvin Phillips confirmed in his press conference that the midfielders fit. He said “I believe Dec is fit, he’s back in training and he’s fine. If something goes wrong then I’ll be there and I’ll do my best to be fit for 90 minutes.I want to play as many minutes as possible.
Regardless of whether Dec is playing or I am, we’ll do our best.” Hence, this is clearly a boost for the coach against the French team as Rice has been a key player in England’s midfield throughout the tournament so far, starting all four games. All in all now that he and possibly even Raheem Sterling are back to the squad, Southgate has got his full team back for one of the biggest games in the tournament