England news: Southgate facing midfield dilemma

1 year ago

In the latest England news, Gareth Southgate admits that Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson could be competing for just one spot in his midfield at the 2018 World Cup.

Southgate will get one final opportunity to see his men in action on Thursday when the Three Lions take on World Cup-bound Costa Rica at Elland Road.

The national team boss still appears to be unsure about his starting eleven with just 11 days to go until England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd, and he is expected to try out a few different ideas in Yorkshire.

More recently Southgate has opted to deploy three in midfield with two attacking options and one pivot sitting in a deeper position.

Jese Lingard and Dele Alli were given the nod to play in the attacking roles for the victory over Nigeria at the weekend, which have left Dier and Henderson feeling nervous about their standing in the squad.

Dier sat just in front of the back three at Wembley on Saturday and Henderson is set to start in the same role against Los Ticos.

Southgate believes the duo will be play their part in Russia this summer but admits he has a tough call to make.

“I’d be amazed if the two of them aren’t important figures for us during the tournament, but there is clearly the possibility they might not both play in every match,” said Southgate.

“It is a key decision, but that’s management isn’t it? You either select players, or you choose your system and pick the best people to fit into it. They’re the tough calls.

“But I think we will only want to play with one ‘pivot’.”

England are priced at 2/5 to win their final World Cup warm-up match, while the draw is available at 19/5, and Costa Rica can be backed at 17/2 with bet365.