England XI vs Slovenia: Southgate Drops Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold being substituted by Conor Gallagher during an England match.

Date: June 25, 2024

In a bold move ahead of England’s decisive Group C match against Slovenia, Gareth Southgate has reportedly dropped Trent Alexander-Arnold from the starting XI. The Liverpool star, who struggled in recent games, will be replaced by Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, sparking significant debate among fans and pundits.

Alexander-Arnold Benched After Struggles in Midfield

Alexander-Arnold’s performances against Serbia and Denmark have drawn criticism, with the defender appearing out of sorts in a midfield role. After just 53 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Denmark, his substitution underscored his difficulties, leading Southgate to make a change. This decision has not been without controversy, as many believe other midfield options like Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo or Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton could provide more balance and creativity.

Gallagher In, Scholes Criticizes ‘Energy Obsession’

Southgate’s preference for Gallagher has been met with mixed reactions. Former England midfielder Paul Scholes has been vocal, criticizing Southgate for prioritizing Gallagher’s “energy” over football intelligence. “Why are we obsessed with energy when we should be obsessed with the brain?” Scholes questioned, highlighting a growing sentiment among fans and analysts alike.

England’s Tactical Approach

Despite calls for Jude Bellingham to be rested due to fatigue, Southgate is determined to field his most robust lineup to secure the top spot in the group and avoid a daunting last-16 clash with Germany. Depending on how the game unfolds, Southgate plans to make strategic substitutions to manage the player workload.

Injury Updates and Team News

All 26 squad members trained ahead of tonight’s encounter, but left-back Luke Shaw remains sidelined as he cautiously continues his recovery from a hamstring issue. Southgate’s decision-making will be scrutinized as he navigates these challenges.

Match Preview: England’s Must-Win Situation

The Three Lions face Slovenia tonight in a must-win scenario to top Group C. After a brilliant start against Serbia, where Jude Bellingham scored, England’s performance dipped, raising questions about team balance and cohesion. The draw against Denmark further amplified concerns, with England lacking control and fluidity.

Key Points

  • Match: England vs Slovenia
  • Kick-off: Tonight, 8 PM BST
  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Live Coverage: BBC One, BBC iPlayer