Bulgaria vs England: Should Gareth Southgate change it up for European Qualifier?
Bulgaria vs England
European Qualifiers Group A
7:45pm Monday October
Vasil Levski National Stadium
Englands defeat to the Czech Republic exposed flaws, leaving Gareth Southgate with a lot to ponder as he seeks an answer against Bulgaria.
If Kosovo fail to win against themselves england will be eligible for Euro 2020 , but Fridays defeat following a performance has left them wait. The evening in Prague functioned, by the admission of Southgate, as a reality check ahead of next summers finals.
Theres a whole lot of job to be done in order to be a top group, that the England boss conceded at his post-match media conference – but possess his team actually gone backwards?
As they dissected the anaemic screen of England that was the sentiment of this Sunday Supplement panel.
Hope was built up by that World Cup semi-final appearance… but now it seems like England have lost their direction, said Shaun Custis, Head of Sport in The Sun.
Does Custis possess a legitimate point or could it be a comprehensive overreaction?
That question wont be answered until later Euro 2020 however Southgate will help to get back the disbelievers in his corner having a positive display and lead to Sofia.
Bulgaria are rock-bottom of Group A after a winless run which produces Hristo Stoichkovs days and Dimitar Berbatov feel as far-distant memories. Harry Kane scored a since England claimed their perfect start to Euro 2020 eligibility.
Bulgaria will offer a sterner test back – a view backed up by Berbatov – but there will be plenty of eyes to the Three Lions operation level. Anything but a convincing win will be scrutinised.
There will be one enforced change since Danny Rose is frozen which will see Ben Chilwell yield into the side of the England defence – however a reshuffle from the back-line could be on the cards.
Southgate has admitted that he will think about reverting at the back to reinforce into three. It is not the goals conceded its the number of shots theyre allowing the resistance. Playing with two-centre backs does permit an extra body to support in whats a world class attacking device Harry Kane, but its exposing England the way.
Spain and Czech Republic handled 24 shots in Englands 3-2 triumph and 17, respectively on Friday.
Of owning a third 7, the comfort so would be the man Southgate wants to build his own shape round and additionally appears to suit. Allowing him security in a time when confidence is low might just give England much more control in possession of they did Friday night. Maguire has been the cause point for many of the strikes of England in the World Cup, striding forwards out of the three. A switch may do him a world of good.
Michael Keane can make way on Friday after a 2nd operation at a row for England, with Tyrone Mings set for an England introduction, according to Sky Sports News. Joe Gomez also is a choice at the core of the defence, as is Fikayo Tomori, that has shown form.
A reshuffle is by Southgate under consideration.
Questioned on his creation after defeat at Prague, he explained:I believe were in a challenging situation concerning the players that have played international soccer with us in that region of the pitch [defence] and whore playing frequently with their clubs. So, that is part of why we did not do that [change into a line against the Czechs]. It is certainly and that I dont think we can dismiss.
I am not convinced, before Monday, if that is the ideal thing to do but were very conscious and assessing all those items
Their progress was hindered by englands battles in midfield in key points at the World Cup and in the Nations League finals and judging by Fridays performance, its an area where Southgate has to locate a solution.
Mason Mount substituted Ross Barkley in the beginning line-up in Prague but instead of slotting in just before Jordan Henderson along with Declan Rice at a three, the debutant was pushed forward into a function. It unbalanced England hugely using a two of Henderson and Rice – equally not known for their creative passing – struggling against the press out of Czech Republic.
The group have been disconnected from attacking units both sides of these and the defensive and did not provide their centre-backs passing choices to play with forwards.
Why should Harry Winks be given a shot in Bulgaria? Can Southgate stick to Mount, but in a character that is deeper? Or did Ross Barkley do with all his bright cameo to get into the XI?
Pickford; Trippier, Mings Chilwell; Barkley, Winks, Henderson; Sancho, Kane, Sterling.
After lovers were found guilty of racist behaviour in their matches against Kosovo along with Czech Republic in 31, the match in Sofia is going to be played in a stadium that is closed. The system, set up to counter discrimination will even have anti-racism spotters from the crowd.
This week, Chelseas Tammy Abraham – who was the victim of abuse on interpersonal media this year – suggested Englands players stroll off the pitch as a group if they are subjected to racist abuse and also could withstand UEFAs racism protocols.
Despite the sanctions imposed in his country for racially aggravated offences, Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov claimed English football has a racism issue that was larger.
What I will say is I dont believe weve got a problem, he said.
In the Bulgarian championship, weve got a great deal of players of different ethnicities and skin colour. I really dont think we have this big problem such as England do.
What I meant was in the Bulgarian championship, we have not had such issues.
While there have been incidents in various levels of English soccer between racism, which I consider something normal because its a major country with an extremely diverse population.
But we dont have this difficulty in Bulgaria, I will guarantee you of that.
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