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Saka starts, Grealish dropped
England play Germany tonight in what is their biggest game since the World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia in 2018.
Much has been debated about how Gareth Southgate should set up his squad and starting 11 ahead of the match with England’s historic rivals.
Jack Grealish has become a fan favourite but does look set to miss out with a 3-4-3 system being favoured and therefore no room for a number 10.
In his place comes an additional centre-halve with Bukayo Saka keeping his place alongside Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.
Phil Foden and Mason Mount also miss out but will offer plenty of quality from the bench.
🚨 Bukayo Saka expected to start England’s #EURO2020 last-16 tie v Germany. 19yo shone in final group game & likely to join Sterling behind Kane. Mount, Grealish + Foden look set to be on bench with #ENG anticipated to go 3-4-3 @TheAthleticUK #GER #ENGGER https://t.co/E9p25ktWmw
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 29, 2021
Why 3 at the back?
Most surprising to some may be the decision for Southgate to move to a 3-at-the-back system.
It is likely Harry Maguire and John Stones will partner Kyle Walker in the three. Walker has played RCB on a number of occasions with Kieran Trippier coming into the right wing-back position.
Luke Shaw then operating as the left wing-back.
The decision to go 3-4-3 and not stick with the back 4 is likely to try and match up Germany’s similar system.
Matthias Ginter, Antonio Rudiger and Mats Hummels have played in a back 3 with Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich playing in wing-back areas.
Tifo Football produced a brilliant tactical video explaining why Joachim Low has chosen to persevere with the 3-4-3 system and reaped the rewards from it.
England stuck with a back 4 against a Scottish back 3 earlier in the tournament and struggled to break them down. Perhaps this has also had an impact on Southgate’s choice to change the system.
This will mean that Germany’s wing-backs will be unable to double up on England’s full-backs and will always have a spare man.
There are questions as to whether Gosens and Ilkay Gundogan will be fit which could drastically change Low’s decisions. Whether Southgate’s choice pays off is yet to be seen.
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