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FIFA World Cup

Against Germany, England could transition from a back four to a back three in the middle of the game

The argument has raged over whether Gareth Southgate should start with a back four or a back three against Germany. I believe England's manager can combine the two.

Southgate has the players to identify a starting XI that could easily switch between the two systems. The first diagram has Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw in the back four, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice in midfield, and Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, and Raheem Sterling in front of Harry Kane.

This 4-2-3-1 system may be converted to a 3-4-3 system with one clockwise rotation, allowing England to match Germany. Mount shifts to right wing, Saka to right wing back, Walker to right-sided centre back, Stones and Maguire shuffle across, and Shaw to left wing back, as shown in the second image.

This isn't a difficult task for the participants. Switching systems in the middle of a game isn't difficult. On Saturday, Denmark did it against Wales. They began with a back three, but switched to a back four after Andreas Christensen moved from defense to midfield.

Jack Grealish would be one of the casualties of this England starting lineup - and Grealish is undoubtedly the supporters' favorite right now - but Southgate must make bold decisions.

Mount has been isolated from the rest of the team and has been training alone. However, this is a fantastic player who will be ready to return to the starting lineup. England requires midfielders who can receive the ball on the half turn and rapidly advance it up the pitch.

The most challenging group game for England came against Scotland, who used a back five, and Southgate has had a week to prepare for Germany.

We know how the Germans will approach the game. Under Joachim Low, they've demonstrated their blueprint: how their wing backs Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich position themselves high up the pitch, how their narrow front three of Kai Havertz, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry rotate, how Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos feed those in front, and how they prefer to dominate possession.

The footage from their opponents' three group games would have been scrutinized by Southgate's analysts. They'll remember how they controlled the ball against France, limiting the world champions to a 1-0 victory thanks to an own goal by Mats Hummels.

They then thrashed Portugal before facing Hungary's back five, which proved to be their toughest opponent. When he felt he couldn't manage the midfield in the past, Southgate felt it was important to play a back three. However, a hybrid team that can adjust to changing numbers on the field could be the answer for England.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for England to reach a major final on home soil. If we can get past Germany, we'll face Sweden or Ukraine in the quarterfinals, followed by the Czech Republic or Denmark in the semis.

England was led by Southgate through three challenging group games. From the enormous occasion of launching a major tournament at Wembley and facing the Croatian squad who knocked them out of the 2018 World Cup, to reigniting the age-old England-Scotland rivalry, to facing a difficult and direct Czech team, there has been plenty to look forward to.

So far, Southgate's decisions have proven to be correct. In none of England's Euro 2020 warm-up games, he used his starting lineup. He was correct in waiting for Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson, and his faith in Grealish and Saka has been rewarded.

His decisions on Tuesday now have a lot riding on them. I want to see England pressuring Germany high up the pitch, regardless of the tactics he employs. Southgate's team will dominate possession and dictate the game if they sit off their opponents. England can unsettle the Germans and force their influential wing backs Gosens and Kimmich farther downfield by employing a pressing strategy.

England last defeated Germany at a major event in Euro 2000. I hadn't played in Euro 96 and felt like I'd missed out on the Germans' semi-final humiliation.

When I walked out against Germany at Euro 2000 four years later, I felt mentally prepared to face them and wanted to avenge that loss. It wasn't the most beautiful or exciting game, but we managed to win (1-0 with Alan Shearer heading home a David Beckham cross).

On Tuesday, England must do just that. The players must be mentally prepared for what lies ahead.

Content created and supplied by: Asante_0 (via Opera News )

England Gareth Southgate Germany John Stones Raheem Sterling


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