England to return to back three for Germany game


Gareth Southgate 


England to return to back three for Germany game


England manager Gareth Southgate is set to return to the three-at-the-back formation that led his team to the 2018 World Cup semi-final when they meet Germany at Wembley.

Germany, who play a 3-4-3, have looked impressive going forwards this summer and many scouts believe their strength lies at wing-back, where Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich are among two of the finest players around.

According to the Telegraph, Southgate feels going toe-to-toe with Germany is the best strategy for the Euro 2020 last-16 tie and he will revert to the three-man defence that brought him success in the earlier years of his reign.

Southgate is looking back to the 2-1 win over Belgium in October 2020, in which England used a 3-5-2 formation, as inspiration for this game - but he's seemingly ignoring the 2-1 loss in the return fixture with the same setup.

For this one, Harry Maguire is expected to start on the left of the back three alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker, with Luke Shaw at left wing-back and Kieran Trippier over on the right.

Maguire will keep his spot in the team


There's no mention of who could start in central midfield, where Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson are all competing for minutes. Mount, whose ten-day isolation period is now over, has been training alone and was recently tipped to make an immediate return to the team.

Up top, captain Harry Kane will keep his place, and he is expected to be flanked by Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, although Arsenal's Bukayo Saka could retain his place after impressing last time out against the Czech Republic.

The switch to a back three has been praised by Jose Mourinho, who wrote in his column for The Times that it's the perfect way to neutralise Germany's wide threat.

"To be offensive, to win a match, a team needs also to be solid and not to have doubts," Mourinho wrote. "In my opinion, the best way to be in control against Germany would be for England to play with a back three and wing backs.

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