Southgate breaks England record with starting XI for Scotland Euro 2020 clash

Gareth Southgate carved out a special piece of England history with his starting line-up for the Euro 2020 clash with Scotland at Wembley.

The eagerly anticipated clash brought together the two rivals in their second group stage clash, with England having beaten Croatia 1-0 in their opener and Scotland losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke adopted an attacking approach from the start for the visitors, who started with Southampton forward Che Adams upfront.

But for Southgate the changes came at full-back, where Chelsea’s Reece James, 21, and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, 25, came in for Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.

At 31, Manchester City’s Walker is the oldest player in the England squad, just a month older than Jordan Henderson.

While at 30, Trippier of Atletico Madrid is then the only other player over 30 years old in the Three Lions squad.

England's XI was their youngest ever at a major tournament
England’s XI was their youngest ever at a major tournament

Those changes meant that, at just 25 years and 31 days, the England XI was the youngest the Three Lions have ever named at a major tournament, a landmark that Southgate is sure to be proud of given how he has often favoured giving chances to young players.

Discussing James and Shaw before the match, Southgate said: “We think their technical ability with the ball is important for this game.

“We were really pleased with the full-backs in the last game but we have a really good depth in that area of the pitch.

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Elaborating on his opposition, Southgate told ITV Sport: “We know they will be better with the ball, Billy Gilmour and Scott McTominay and Kieran Tierney – it’s a slightly different profile for their team but I would imagine a similar tactically approach.

Che Adams started in attack for Scotland
Che Adams started in attack for Scotland

“The system they play is attacking anyway, Gilmour is a very good footballer and they will look to build through him – he will add to that part of their game.”

BBC Sport pundit and former England international Micah Richards was also happy with the full-back changes.

“It shows the quality England have,” he told BBC Sport.

You expect England to dominate the ball. We have seen Reece James play in a back three, he’s so comfortable. We know how good Luke Shaw is at linking up play.

I’m intrigued to see how it pans out. If Phil Foden plays on the right, it will be interesting to see if he is asked to do a lot of defensive work or whether they’ll leave James in a one-on-one battle.



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