Now that we have our back-line sorted, it’s time to move up the pitch a bit! Working with the logic that England will play a 5-2-2-1 formation using wing backs. This means the midfield should be populated with two holding players & two wide players behind a lone striker.
One characteristic of Southgate’s England set up is ball retention. As such he likes to play with two combative holding midfielders and the first name on that list will undoubtedly be Eric Dier.
Dier is one of the first names on the team sheet for England. At 24, he has already gained valuable experience playing in an impressive Tottenham team alongside the likes of Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama & Christian Eriksen. Dier’s athleticism and desire to be a box-to-box midfielder is a rare thing these days. He also likes to get stuck in, so in a tough game he’s the type of guy you want in your team!
Did we mention he can also grab a goal or two!?
England have a abundance of talent to fill a central midfield slot alongside Dier, so here’s a list of everyone I can think of:
Ok so, maybe not an abundance, and might be scratching at the bottom of the barrel near the bottom of that list but the upper half is decent.
It’s a shame Winks got injured as he showed so much potential when he bossed Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last October!
It all depends on the match-up as to who will get the nod. In tight games, you’d imaging Henderson will get the nod as he offers greater defensive protection. Contrast this with games England need more of a spark and Wilshere should be starting.
Of the list above, there’s only really space for 3/4 of these guys, so I would expect Henderson, Wilshere & Loftus-Cheek to get the call from Southgate.
We’ll look at the last line of the team later in our attackers review! – Can anyone challenge Harry Kane? (No, no they can’t!)
But who gets to play in behind Kane? – Join us later to find out!