Germany vs England tactics: Reece James, Kai Havertz and Gareth Southgate’s midfield options

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England head to Munich tonight to face Germany in a Nations League grudge match.

The Three Lions beats their old rivals last summer at the Euros but, under Hansi Flick, the Germans are unbeaten in 10 games since.

Here are the key tactical battles facing both sides...

James’s starting chance

Gareth Southgate is blessed with plenty of options at right wing-back and it is, arguably, the most fiercely-contested place in the team

Trent Alexander-Arnold got the nod last Saturday in Hungary, but Reece James should start tonight and he is one player who suits a 3-4-3 formation.

James has enjoyed some of his best performances for Chelsea there and tonight is the perfect chance for him to stay ahead of Alexander-Arnold in the pecking order.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Familiar foe Havertz

England fans will need no introduction to Kai Havertz, who this season has shifted into a more central role for Chelsea. It is the same with Germany and, after previously being shunted out wide, the 22-year-old is now getting chances to lead the line under Hansi Flick

He creates a different challenge for England’s defenders, who will need to be wary of him dropping off and looking to bring others into play.

Phillips-Rice connection

During England’s march to the final of Euro 2020 last summer, it was clear to see the burgeoning partnership between Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillip.

The pair worked perfectly in the middle of the park, but since then form and fitness issues with the Leeds player has stopped them linking up.

Jude Bellingham has also arrived on the scene to give Southgate a selection headache, but Phillips should start tonight and will be out to show why he and Rice should play together.

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