England and Croatia will play the first round of the European Championship Group D at Wembley on Sunday at 3pm.
The two national teams will face each other in the second major game in a row. After Croatia won the Russia World Cup semi-final with 2:1, they met twice in the League of Nations in the fall of 2018. Rujevica is 0:0 and Wembley is 2:1 English.
In Russia and Rujevica, the England team used the classic 3-5-2 system, while at Wembley Southgate Stadium they chose 4-4-1-1. This is when Southgate began testing the four-a-side defensive system, which became the standard of the British national team, but Southgate returned to the game with a three-man defense in the National League this fall.
In the spring World Cup qualifiers, England once again played four defenders. This situation has continued in the two friendly matches against Austria (1:0) and Romania (1:0) last week. Southgate’s biggest problem is the injury of John Stones’ standard partner Harry Maguire at the heart of England’s defense. The England coach tried a different variant instead of Maguire, and the “Daily Telegraph” wrote in an exclusive report tonight that Southgate chose a completely different variant.
“Southgate is testing the 3-4-3 system in training. They should play against Croatia at the opening of the European Cup. England has adopted this formation, but the formation against the Croatian may be a brand new player. Sgate already has many defenders’ problems well, they are in good shape and it seems that he will reverse his performance in the preliminaries in Sunday’s game,” the Telegraph wrote.
In fact, Southgate has left-backs Ben Chilville and Luke Shaw, who play for Chelsea and Manchester United in these positions respectively. The larger crowd is at the right back. Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and the great Rees James who performed well during the Chelsea season are competing.
“As far as the current situation is concerned, Southgate will arrange a game against the Croatian defense in the next lineup. The central defender will be the undisputed John Stones, Luke Shaw left and Walker right. The city defender is already here. The national team played in that position, but Shaw did not make multiple bases for Manchester United this season. This opens up many possibilities for Southgate. The left back will be played by Chilville, so the coach will take advantage of the two players. The left is in good form and the right will play James or Trippier. With Walker on the side, England has a good solution to quickly exit the back line because Shaw and Walker are both very good at the ball at their feet,” The Telegraph Write.
These will be temporary solutions until Maguire returns, which is expected in the second or third game. When he returned, the “Daily Telegraph” claimed that England would once again play against four defensive players, namely Stones and Maguire in the top spot.