Conor Coady expected to make his England debut against Denmark on Tuesday as Gareth Southgate returns to the back three formation which served the Three Lions so well at the World Cup in 2018.
England began their Nations League campaign on Saturday with a late winner from the spot against Iceland, before travelling to Copenhagen on Monday ahead of their second and final game of this international window.
Southgate’s plans were thrown into chaos when it emerged that Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood, who both made their debuts on Saturday and were set to be involved once more on Tuesday, had breached isolation guidelines in Iceland and had to be sent home .
While Southgate is now short two outfield players, the rest of the squad are in better condition than expected, especially considering the international break is taking place during pre-season.
“We’re really pleased with the condition of the players following the Iceland game,” said Southgate. “It was a game played predominantly one half of the pitch so the physical demands were a lot lower that sometimes can be.
“There are players short of training minutes and match minutes but everyone has reported well after training.”
The England manager wants his side to be adept in a number of systems – hence the experiment with a back three again.
The shape helped the Three Lions reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia, but will not have been used by Southgate for exactly two years on Tuesday, since a 2-1 defeat to Spain.
Predicted England XI vs Denmark (3-4-3): Pickford; Gomez, Dier, Coady; Alexander-Arnold, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Trippier; Sancho, Sterling, Kane