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Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish set to return to England’s starting XI
Free soccer tips, best bets and analysis for Tuesday’s international friendly between England and Ivory Coast.
where to watch
Sky Sports main event, 7.45pm Tuesday
Over 2.5 goals
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John Stones is unlikely to appear after picking up an injury in the warm-up ahead of Saturday’s win over Switzerland. Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone dropped out of the squad last week.
Coach Patrice Beaumelle has no new injury concerns, but Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet is pushing for an attacking start.
Defensive solidity has been a hallmark of Gareth Southgate’s England side but there could be an unfamiliar look at the Three Lions full-back when they take on a talented Ivory Coast side on Tuesday.
Centre-back Marc Guehi and full-backs Kyle Walker-Peters and Tyrick Mitchell earned their first caps in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Switzerland and Ben White was pressed into action after John Stones picked up the injury during warm-up.
England lost 1-0 to the Swiss in the first quarter and needed some fine saves from keeper Jordan Pickford before a Luke Shaw strike and Harry Kane penalty changed the game.
Nick Pope could have a chance to score instead of Pickford, after Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale was forced out of the squad with a hip injury, and England’s defensive unit may expect a tricky night.
World champions France needed a late winner to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 last week after falling behind an excellent goal from Nicolas Pepe.
The Arsenal winger, rejuvenated in the Africa Cup of Nations, started in a top three alongside Ajax striker Sebastien Haller, who scored 11 goals in seven Champions League starts this season, and Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.
England have their own attacking quality, with Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish likely to start in Southgate’s reshuffle, and over 2.5 goals looks like a decent bet.
He has featured in seven of the last ten Ivory Coast internationals while the Three Lions have averaged four goals per game since the Euro 2020 final.
England have scored 32 goals in eight appearances since Euro 2020.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 1:55 PM, MARCH 28, 2022