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Southgate explains selecting Trippier over Saka in England XI vs Italy

Kieran Trippier - England
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The Three Lions boss opted for an uncustomary system in order to accommodate an extra defender in his line-up.

Gareth Southgate admits it was due to Italy’s tactical approach that he made a change to England starting XI for the Euro 2020 final.

Despite relying on the 4-2-3-1 approach for the most part of the tournament, Southgate decided to deploy a 3-4-3 setup against Italy.

The only other time the 50-year-old favored the latter system was in the match against Germany, whom England beat 2-0 in the Round of 16.

The change in formation prompted a change in personnel as well, with defender Kieran Trippier brought in and forward Bukayo Saka left on the bench. The 50-year-old’s decision served as a source of surprise to fans and pundits alike, considering the Arsenal starlet has been performing well.

“Italy cause you a tactical problem, they’ve got a very familiar way of playing and it’s a problem that’s difficult to resolve with a winger because he ends up defending in your own third of the pitch,” said Southgate explaining his tactical tweak prior to kick-off, per Metro.

“We want to keep our attacking players a little bit higher up which we hope is going to cause them a problem on the counter-attack as well.”