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UEFA Nations League

Sterling captains England as Champions League stars left on the bench

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Raheem Sterling of England speaks to the media during a press conference at Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques on June 5, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport
06/06/2019 at 17:07 | Updated 06/06/2019 at 20:41

Raheem Sterling has been confirmed as captain for the England XI that take on the Netherlands in Thursday's Uefa Nations League semi-final.

Not a single English player who featured in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham starts, meaning Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson are among those on the bench.

However there are starts for Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice in an experimental England team packed full of pace.

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The Dutch have opted to use their Champions League stars, with Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum both starting in an XI that also features Ajax talents Mathias de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.

"Much of the pre-game talk surrounded whether Harry Kane would start," said Eurosport's football expert Marcus Foley from the stadium in Guimaraes.

"He doesn’t, but actually Gareth Southgate’s decision to not select any of the players used in the Champions League Final has a bigger impact in midfield, where Fabien Delph starts alongside Ross Barkley and Declan Rice.

"There’s not a lot of experience in there and some of those players are a substantial downgrade on Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli. It’s also where Netherlands are probably strongest … they could really take control of the game in there."

Full Line-Ups

England XI: Pickford; Chilwell, Maguire, Stones, Walker; Rice, Delph, Barkley; Sterling, Rashford, Sancho

Netherlands XI: Cillessen, Dumfries, Van Dijk (C), De Ligt, Blind, Wijnaldum, De Jong, De Roon, Bergwijn, Babel, Depay

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