SOUTHGATE DEFENDS DECISION TO PICK HENDERSON AHEAD OF ITALY MATCH

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SOUTHGATE DEFENDS DECISION TO PICK HENDERSON AHEAD OF ITALY MATCH – Jordan Henderson was booed by England fans against Australia

England head coach Gareth Southgate defended his decision to continue selecting Jordan Henderson ahead of the Italy match after the 33-year-old midfielder was booed off the pitch at Wembley during England’s 1-0 friendly victory over Australia.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s European qualifier at home to Italy, Southgate said his team selection is not based on a popularity contest. The former Liverpool captain was subject to raucous boos from the home crowd on Friday when he was subbed off in the 62nd minute in his first appearance on home soil since signing a £700,000 per week contract for Al-Ettifaq in July to become the highest paid English footballer of all time.

With the Azzurri returning to Wembley for the first time since their Euro 2020 triumph over England, the Three Lions need only a point to ensure qualification for the finals in Germany next summer.

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