England vs Hungary tactics: Three key issues Gareth Southgate must address in Nations League clash

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England vs Hungary tactics: Three key issues Gareth Southgate must address in Nations League clash
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England’s tepid post-season Nations League run concludes tonight with the visit of Hungary.

The Three Lions are desperate for a morale-boosting victory at Molineux with just three matches remaining now until they face Iran in their World Cup opener in November.

Gareth Southgate only has this fixture and a further Nations League double-header against Italy and Germany in September to make the final decisions on his squad for the mid-season winter tournament in Qatar.

England were bested 1-0 by tonight’s opponents in Budapest last week, with Dominik Szoboszlai’s controversial second-half penalty proving the difference in a dire contest.

That lethargic display was followed by a last-gasp draw with Germany in Munich and an insipid stalemate against Italy played behind closed doors on Saturday evening.

Here, Standard Sport’s Simon Collings looks at three key issues for England tonight...

Declan Rice’s performance against Italy stood out despite a long season with West Ham (Getty Images)
Declan Rice’s performance against Italy stood out despite a long season with West Ham (Getty Images)

Can England cope without Rice?

Given his fine form for West Ham, Declan Rice is pretty much one of the first names on the team sheet for England.

Even during their struggles this month, he has impressed and how the Three Lions cope without him tonight will be intriguing. Few players cover as much ground as Rice.

Find way to nullify Szoboszlai

It is no surprise that Europe’s top clubs have been scouting Szoboszlai. The 21-year-old is Hungary’s most creative player and in the first meeting between these two sides he was the match-winner, too.

One of England’s midfielders will need to drop deep and stay tight to him.

Kane bids to end season in style

After a long season, nothing would be sweeter for Harry Kane than equalling, or even better, overtaking Wayne Rooney as England’s record goalscorer. The Tottenham striker, however, faces a difficult task tonight.

Hungary will look to play with a back-three and the centre-backs are all tall, physical players.

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