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Three things England must work on against Switzerland

Charlie Dear | 10 September 2018

What Gareth Southgate must put right ahead of Euro 2020

England’s loss to Spain on Saturday means the Three Lions have lost three consecutive matches for the first time in 30 years.

Gareth Southgate and the team were deservedly given a hero’s welcome after their semi-final exploits at the World Cup but there is still some way to go to compete with the very best.

They face Switzerland on Tuesday night and the Coral News Team take a look at what needs to be done ahead of Euro 2020…

Alternatives in attack

Southgate named Marcus Rashford alongside Harry Kane in the 2-1 defeat to Spain.

Rashford notched England’s opener and could and probably should have scored more.

Southgate is resting heavily on the Manchester United man to fill Kane’s boots when the England captain is rested or injured, especially after naming Danny Welbeck as the only alternative.

Welbeck could now come in to lead the line against Switzerland, a player that seems to have the trust of nearly every manager he’s played under.

The England boss appears reluctant to look outside of the current set-up for other options.

Instead hoping the likes of under 21 trio Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Dominic Solanke can get enough football to force themselves into the picture.

Giving youth a chance

Luke Shaw and Dele Alli have been ruled out of the Switzerland game, and Southgate has stuck to his guns and called up two players he knows well.

Leicester City pair Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell are in, and both could expect to make their senior debuts.

Chilwell has played every minute of the Foxes season so far and with Shaw’s head injury could even come into the starting line-up.

Gray will be competing with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Rashford and Welbeck for a spot on Tuesday.

Raheem Sterling would be certain starter, but Gray’s own impressive start to the campaign could see him come into real contention in future.

Midfield conundrum

England’s semi-final run at the World Cup can’t be sniffed at, but Southgate’s 3-5-2 formation has as many drawbacks as positives moving forward.

Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kieran Trippier got many of the plaudits in Russia. But the midfield two were exposed in games against Belgium and Croatia, as well as in Saturday’s defeat to Spain.

England are 8/11 to beat Switzerland and could have enough in hand, but Southgate might have to tinker to beat the very best sides.

He started Jordan Henderson in a defensive role with Alli and Lingard marauding around.

Many are calling for midfielder James Maddison to be given a senior call-up but it could be worth experimenting with other formations.

Both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph are already in the squad. The duo bring intriguing, yet very different qualities that haven’t fully been unleashed for England.

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