Southgate needs to make changes after Czech debacle

Gareth Southgate of England sings the National Anthem with his coaching staff ahead of the International Friendly match
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

For much of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, England cruised past their opponents. In their first four group games, they notched at least four goals in each match.

However, on Friday night, Gareth Southgate’s team showed some major flaws, as they went down to a deserved 2-1 defeat.

Southgate set to make changes

According to media reports, England boss Southgate is set to make changes to his starting line-up for Monday nights game against Bulgaria. The biggest problem positions were in the centre of defence and also in midfield.

The former Middlesbrough boss may be looking at returning to the three-man central defensive set-up he used predominantly during last years World Cup. That change may offer a reprieve to Everton centre-back Michael Keane.

The former Burnley star has endured a difficult season so far at both club and international level. Reports suggest that Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings may come in at centre-back to make his international debut.

Many thought it would be at the expense of the Toffees star. However, if Southgate decides to use three centre-backs, then Keane could still start, although the England boss could field Joe Gomez or Fikayo Tomori in the centre of defence.

Leicester’s Ben Chilwell will come into the team in place of the suspended Danny Rose, either at full-back or left wing-back. After an anaemic midfield display in Prague, Tottenham’s Harry Winks may also start the game in Bulgaria.

A reality check for England

The fact that the Three Lions had enjoyed such comfortable wins over their opponents in the other game rather gave a false view of where they are as a team. It was a reality check that showed the current squad of players cannot afford complacency.

England will no doubt qualify for Euro 2020 with ease, as they have done for the majority of the major tournaments in the last decade. However, it seems that nobody will know the level of this current team until they face quality opposition at Euro 2020.

Will Gareth Southgate make big changes to his England team for the game against Bulgaria?

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