Gareth Southgate ready to ‘trust’ England’s fringe players as he plans changes for Italy clash

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate has hinted that he is ready to ring the changes for England’s clash with Italy on Saturday.

The game is England’s third Nations League game in a week and comes off the back of a long Premier League season.

Southgate is ready to make changes to his team following Tuesday’s draw in Germany, however not necessarily due to fatigue but because of his desire to try players out before the World Cup in Qatar.

England have just four more games until they begin their campaign in Qatar and Southgate is eager to test players against high-quality opposition, like Italy.

“There is nobody we can’t use, but we have got to think about some things we want to see and the freshness of the team as well,” said Southgate.

“I think this is a good game for some of the other players to come into it. It’s a top-level game and I think it is a good sign to trust the players going into all these games.

“I think if we only give players certain types of matches then you don’t find out enough about them and they don’t find out the tactical challenges.

“So for us, it’s a balance always of knowing that we have got to win matches but also trying to find out about the players and them getting good experiences.”

Captain Harry Kane has already publicly declared his desire to start on Saturday and against Hungary next week, with the striker three goals off Wayne Rooney’s all-time record for England.

Southgate says Kane could start and play the whole game against Italy, with his fitness not an issue, but again the England manager is keen to give others a chance.

Tammy Abraham is expected to lead the line, while Declan Rice is another who may make way in midfield.

“We could get 90 minutes out of any of the squad tomorrow. Whether we do that is another matter,” said Southgate.

“But all of the players are physically in good condition, the recovery between these two games is a little bit different to the previous two so I think on the scheduling this is how it should be. Two days between the games isn’t really ideal across a four-game span.

“But we have got no concerns about any of the players in that situation.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting