England: Report reveals XI to face Slovenia as Alexander-Arnold is dropped for Southgate’s ‘obsession’

Lewis Oldham
England XI for Slovenia
Conor Gallagher comes on for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Gareth Southgate’s England XI for tonight’s Group C finale against Slovenia has reportedly been revealed and Trent Alexander-Arnold has been dropped.

Southgate‘s contract is due to expire later this year and Euro 2024 is widely expected to be his final tournament as England boss.

Alexander-Arnold is dropped…

The 53-year-old has been heavily criticised in recent weeks as England have produced a couple of poor performances in their opening two group games against Serbia and Denmark.

The Three Lions were brilliant for half an hour against Serbia as Jude Bellingham headed them into the lead, but Serbia grew into the game and were unlucky to come away with nothing.

Matters got worse against Denmark as England lacked cohesion and had no control of the game as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

In these two games, England have lacked balance with Kieran Trippier filling in at left-back, while Southgate has experimented with Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

Alexander-Arnold resembled a deer in the headlights against Denmark and was taken off after 53 minutes as he was replaced by Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, who did not do much better.

On Monday, The Athletic‘s David Ornstein revealed Gallagher is set to replace Alexander-Arnold in the England starting XI for the Slovenia match.

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This has not gone down well as Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo/Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton would be more popular selections. Paul Scholes has since hit out at Southgate for being “obsessed” with Gallagher’s “energy”.

He said: “Why are we obsessed with energy when we should be obsessed with the brain.”

According to Sky Sports, ‘Gallagher is looking like the only change to the England side to face Slovenia’.

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The report explains: ‘Southgate has accepted that his experiment with Alexander-Arnold in a central midfield “quarterback” role has not worked, with Gallagher set to replace him as a more orthodox number eight.

‘There have been calls for Bellingham to be rested, after he showed signs of tiredness in both group games, but Southgate is determined to start with his strongest possible team to try to ensure they top the group, and avoid a last-16 clash with Germany on Saturday.

‘It’s thought Southgate does plan to make a number of substitutions against Slovenia, in the hope of managing the workload of some of his key players. But much will depend on the circumstances of the game.

‘All 26 players trained ahead of Tuesday’s encounter, but left-back Luke Shaw will not feature as his rehabilitation from a hamstring issue continues cautiously.’

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