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Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on why Aston Villa's Jack Grealish should start for England at Euro 2020

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 3 days ago John McDougall

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt hopes Gareth Southgate starts Aston Villa's Jack Grealish for England in Euro 2020.

The tournament kicks off today a year later than originally envisaged due to the coronavirus pandemic when Turkey take on Italy in Rome.

England's group includes Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic, with the Three Lions beginning their campaign on Sunday at Wembley against the former.

England play Scotland on Friday, June 18, before taking on the Czech Republic on Tuesday, June 22, to conclude Group D.

Bolton boss Evatt has had his say on England's chances at the tournament and believes the Three Lions have 'as good a chance as anyone' with a squad which matches with the best involved.

In the final third of the pitch, Southgate is blessed with many options including captain and Tottenham Hotspur talisman Harry Kane, Manchester City duo Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling, Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount of Chelsea, Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bukayo Saka of Arsenal.

But Evatt wants to see Villa captain Grealish start for England after first coming up against the attacking midfielder in a pre-season friendly for former side Chesterfield in the summer of 2014.

Evatt said: “I hope he plays Jack Grealish first and foremost because I’m a massive fan.

"Peter Atherton will tell you I’ve been banging Grealish’s drum for five years now since I played against him when he was a young lad at Aston Villa in a pre-season friendly against Chesterfield and I think my knees are still suffering from that day!

"But I think he’s proven over the course of the last couple of years and certainly in the friendlies that he deserves to start.

"It’s a difficult job isn’t it to balance the team.

"We’ve got an embarrassment of riches but that’s what Gareth’s paid the money for so hopefully we can, we’ve got as good a chance as anyone, we’ve got as good a squad as anybody so fingers crossed we can have some success.”

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