England vs Croatia: Luke Shaw in line to play as left centre-half in shock selection
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The Three Lions take on Croatia at Wembley on Sunday and have a number of selection issues.
Why it matters: Harry Maguire’s injury has meant a dilemma for Southgate in the centre of defence. The Manchester United man is struggling with an ankle ligament injury. He had been expected to line up alongside John Stones in a back four, but his absence means that Southgate could consider switching to three centre-halves in order to give extra defensive resolve.
What the options are: England added defender Ben White to the squad when Trent Alexander-Arnold was ruled out. He joins fellow centre-halves Stones, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady. Mings is the obvious choice as a left-sided centre-half but struggled in the warm-up games against Austria and Romania. Kyle Walker can also play as a right-sided centre-half. If Southgate chooses to play 4-3-3, he must pick Mings, Coady or White to partner Stones.
What has been said: Former England defender Lee Dixon, who knows Southgate from his time working together at ITV, said: “I just get the sense that he wants to be protective of the goal a little bit more, as in playing with that three. Luke Shaw on that left-hand side is something that has popped up in conversation before and he’s played there for Man United. I think he will go down that road and of the three that he will play, Shaw’s certainly in the mix for that.”