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Southgate preaches flexibility with England set to go three at the back and one up front vs Scotland

Date Posted,June 7, 2017

Gareth Southgate has told England’s players they must be “adaptable” ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Scotland.

Southgate has used both a back three and a four-man defence in training this week, but a lack of options in midfield could tempt him to use a 3-4-2-1 formation in Saturday’s match at Hampden Park.

He urged the players to be open to change and playing different formations and systems in a team meeting ahead of the final preparations for the trip north.

Southgate has been looking at a back three because he believes it will suit his players, with Eric Dier likely to be the only holding midfielder and Harry Kane leading the attack.

Southgate has been preaching flexibility in terms of tactics and formations this week (Photo: The FA via Getty)

The manager has a wealth of options at centre-half, with Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling and John Stones the obvious options to play in defence in Glasgow.

However, with Jordan Henderson injured and Jack Wilshere also out of the Three Lions picture, they have few alternatives in midfield. Adam Lallana likely to start in there while Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli are favourites to play in support of Kane.

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Three at the back has been hugely popular in the Premier League this season and Southgate has no doubts his players can use it effectively and may then change completely for next Tuesday’s friendly in France.

Southgate is likely to experiment in Paris next week, and is acutely aware of clubs not wanting their players to be overplayed after a long season.

ENGLAND (possible) Hart; Stones, Smalling Cahill; Walker, Dier, Lallana, Bertrand; Sterling, Alli; Kane.

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