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Gareth Southgate has named his England squad to face Andorra

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05 Sep 2021
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Following the comfortable win over Hungary on Thursday, it would be a major surprise if England were to drop points against the minnows, despite Southgate experimenting with his side ahead of the final match of this qualifying triple header against Poland on Wednesday.

Southgate has brought Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder

Gareth Southgate has named his England squad to face Andorra, with Trent Alexander-Arnold deployed in a midfield role. Following the comfortable win over Hungary on Thursday, it would be a major surprise if England were to drop points against the minnows, despite Southgate experimenting with his side ahead of the final match of this qualifying triple header against Poland on Wednesday. Also involved from the outset is Leeds star Patrick Bamford – a player many felt should have been given more of a chance ahead of Euro 2020. Perhaps the biggest surprise Southgate has brought in his lineup for the Wembley fixture is Alexander-Arnold’s midfield role. The 22-year-old Liverpool star will earn his 14th England cap, with four of those previously coming in a right-midfield role.

The coach made a full 11 changes

Indeed, his debut against Costa Rica back in June 2018 saw him used in that position, while it was not until his fourth cap and a five-minute cameo against Spain that he was employed in his more habitual right-back position. This will also be Alexander-Arnold’s first England appearance since a 1-0 friendly victory over Austria on June 2. He missed the next eight fixtures, including the run to the final of Euro 2020 due to a hamstring injury, while he was left on the bench during the 4-0 win over Hungary, which was a match more notable for the racist abuse that the England team suffered than what happened on the field. Southgate made a full 11 changes to his starting XI following England’s 4-0 midweek win away to Hungary in Budapest.

It was the first time the men’s national side has named a completely different starting XI from their last match since June 1982 in a friendly against Finland.

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