England defence: Euro 2020 right-back conundrum still dominating Gareth Southgate agenda

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England’s squad may be blessed with an abundance of attacking talent, but the defence will be giving Gareth Southgate selection headaches, too.

The position of right-back is perhaps the most hotly contested area, with four named in the provisional 33-man squad.

The chances of all four making the cut to 26 seems highly unlikely, which means one of Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Reece James or Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to miss out.

Southgate has highlighted the quartet’s versatility, with the likes of Trippier able to play at left-back, but even still, the idea of four right-backs in a 26-man squad seems hard to comprehend.

There are further decisions for Southgate to make when it comes to centre-back too, not least because he has dropped Eric Dier.

The Tottenham defender has been a regular for Southgate - one of his leaders on and off the pitch - but his poor form this season has cost him.

Uncapped pair Ben Godfrey and Ben White have got the nod instead and, while they might be outsiders to make the 26, fitness concerns over Harry Maguire means they must be ready to step up.

Left-back is perhaps the only really settled area of England’s defence when it comes to knowing who will be in the final 26-man group.

Gareth Southgate named four right-backs in his provisional 33-man squadGetty Images
Gareth Southgate named four right-backs in his provisional 33-man squadGetty Images

Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw are the standout options and will fight it out to start the opening game. Bukayo Saka could act as emergency cover there if needed.

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