England will play a back five against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 with Kieran Trippier replacing Bukayo Saka in the starting XI, Goal has learned.
Gareth Southgate has generally used a 4-2-3-1 formation through England’s run to a first major final for 55 years, however, they did play with a 3-5-2 against Germany in the round of 16.
Goal has learned that a similar tactic will be deployed to nullify the attacking threat of the Italians at Wembley on Sunday evening, with Atletico Madrid right-back Trippier coming in.
Who will play for England?
Jordan Pickford is expected to keep his place in goal for England, having only let in one goal in six matches at Euro 2020, breaking 1966 World Cup-winning keeper Gordon Banks’ record for consecutive minutes without conceding along the way.
In front of him, it is expected England will deploy three central defenders, with Kyle Walker moving in from right-back alongside John Stones and Harry Maguire, as he did to good effect in the 2-0 win over the Germans.
Trippier played right wing-back in that match and will do the same in the final, with Manchester United’s Luke Shaw on the left.
Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips will be maintained in their holding midfield roles, it is understood, despite speculation that the more experienced Jordan Henderson might return.
Mason Mount, who has played as an attacking central midfielder through most of Euro 2020, is instead set to play as part of the forward three alongside Raheem Sterling and captain Harry Kane.
Saka played as one of the front men against Germany, however, regular starter Mount was ruled out of that match as he had to self-isolate after being a close contact with Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Who misses out?
Aside from Saka, who is unfortunate to miss out after some impressive performances at Euro 2020, Phil Foden is also set to not be picked in the starting XI after missing training on Saturday with a foot problem.
They could both be used from the subs’ bench, however, in what is England’s first major final since winning the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.