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England vs Tunisia Tactical preview 

Rounak Varma
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
181   //    18 Jun 2018, 22:00 IST

Taking a look at the best options available to the England manager on the day of their opener vs Tunisia and beyond

FORMATION

Since his appointment in 2016, Gareth Southgate seems to favor a system with three central defenders. But the one that appears to be the most effective with the players he has with him is the 3-5-2. With the luxury of two ball-playing center-halves in Harry Maguire and John Stones, the build up from the back is assured and precise. The three at the back also provides for more cover fhor John Stones who can move in line with the DM and pick passes into the final third. Stones' passing range and awareness make him an invaluable member of the England setup. In the attacking phase, the 3-5-2 is effectively a 3-3-3-1 with the two midfielders either side of the DM pushing up to join the player just of Kane. The wing-backs in line with the DM help to press effectively as they will have numbers all over the pitch. This can also become a 3-1-3-3 when attacking if the wing backs go further up in line with one midfielder while the other joins in ahead forming a front three. This helps break down the deep-lying opposition and will assist in games where England see more of the ball.

THE STARTING XI

GK:- Jordan Pickford

RCB:-Kyle Walker

CB:- John Stones

LCB:- Harry Maguire

RWB:- Kieran Trippier

RM:- Ruben Loftus Cheek

CDM:- Jordan Henderson

LM:- Dele Alli

LWB:- Danny Rose

CF:- Raheem Sterling

ST:- Harry Kane

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DEFENDING AS A TEAM

Defensively, the wing backs drop deep to form a back 5. The front two drop right in front of the three midfielders and maintain that shape. They move sideways and deny any spaces. It makes the team compact and makes it easier to intercept any loose balls. Off the ball defending relies heavily on the midfield three to maintain shape and press only when required. Like when the full backs have the ball or when an opposition CB moves into midfield.

THE CREATIVITY PROBLEM

The omissions of Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere means that a lot is riding on the shoulders of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He will be one of the numbers 8s either side of the DM and will have to be an effective attacking pivot. He will have to work on his passing and spot that defense splitting ball as early as possible. The Chelsea midfielder had an amazing season on Loan to Crystal Palace and was a key figure in avoiding relegation.


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Rounak Varma
CONTRIBUTOR
Football Fanatic. Been watching the sport long enough to be objective regardless of club allegiances which happens to be Liverpool FC
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