England team ‚leaked‘ as Southgate drops star for Slovenia Euro 2024 clash | Football | Sport

Conor Gallagher is set to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold in England’s starting XI to face Slovenia. After hauling the Liverpool man off in the second half against both Serbia and Denmark, Gareth Southgate will reportedly take Alexander-Arnold out of the firing line amid criticism over his displays in midfield.

Gallagher replaced the 25-year-old on both occasions, and according to The Athletic, will now be handed a starting berth for the key clash in Cologne.

The news comes on the day that Southgate had his entire 26-man squad take part in full training for the first time in Germany, with Luke Shaw joining his team-mates after previously working alone, continuing his recovery from injury.

And should Gallagher indeed start, it will follow the same selection pattern deployed by Southgate at England’s three previous major tournaments. On each occasion, the Three Lions have altered their starting line-up in their third and final group match, and then proceeded to make further changes for the knockout stages.

Gallagher, 24, has 15 caps to his name, although his also one caution away from a suspension after being booked in the 1-1 draw with Denmark. His expected inclusion will mean Southgate ignoring the advice of another man who has taken charge of England, with Sam Allardyce arguing the Chelsea man does not „warrant a place“ in the side.

Speaking on the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast, he said: „I don’t think Conor Gallagher’s the answer. Conor’s still a young guy learning his trade. His work rate, closing down and winning the ball is very good but his passing is not quite the best or good enough yet to warrant that place.

„If Southgate is still stuck on playing two in the middle, they need to put Jude [Bellingham] back there because he can do both roles equally well. That’s where he started anyway, in the deeper position.“

Despite their perceived lacklustre performances, England are top of Group C with four points from the opening two games. And a win against Slovenia will guarantee top spot, meaning they’ll avoid hosts Germany in the next round.

Even a draw could well be enough to finish first. But while replacing Alexander-Arnold has been widely expected, Southgate has also been under pressure to make further changes for Tuesday’s clash.

Despite the impressive club form of Cole Palmer, the 22-year-old forward is yet to play a single minute in Germany. And even the place of captain Harry Kane is in the spotlight after he was hooked off against Denmark despite putting England ahead in the first half.

England have not lost a group game at an international tournament since being beaten 1-0 by Belgium at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That run will extend to nine games if they avoid defeat aginst Slovenia.

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