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England manager Gareth Southgate is set to hand Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jordan Pickford their Three Lions debuts in Friday’s clash with Germany at Wembley Stadium.
The trio will reportedly start in a 3-5-2 formation that has radically change over the last few days due to six withdrawals from the squad.
According to Paul Joyce in the Times, in the absence of Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Joe Hart and Gary Cahill, Eric Dier will captain England against the world champions.
Meanwhile, Chelsea‘s Danny Drinkwater turned down a call to join the squad due to a lack of game time, and Southgate could not say whether he will recall the midfielder when the next international break comes around, per Mark Ashenden of Sky Sports: “I’ve no idea. I can’t hypothesise over who I might be calling in March. I have no idea of how he feels or where he’s at physically. I would have thought so, but we might have other players back by then.”
Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT
Butland was primed to start for England v Germany but he broke his finger in training today. Shame for him.
Jack Butland @JackButland_One
bit of luck wouldn’t go a miss, but can’t keep me down for long! be back soon 💪🏼🙌🏼
On the goalkeeping situation, Southgate revealed Hart remains his No. 1 despite the West Ham United stopper’s recent variable form, per Joyce: “If we were starting the World Cup tomorrow I think Joe Hart would be our No. 1. He’s got a challenge now over the next few months; he’s got a new manager now [at West Ham]. There is going to be competition for places all over the pitch, which is a good thing.”
England confirmed their spot at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia in the last international break, and the upcoming clashes against Germany and Brazil will act as crucial preparation for the tournament.
The 20-year-old Abraham has earned his start after showing fine form for Swansea City so far in 2017-18.
He is on loan at the Welsh outfit from Chelsea and has netted four times and provided one assist in the Premier League this term, per WhoScored.com.
Loftus-Cheek is another Chelsea loanee, plying his trade with Crystal Palace, and Southgate revealed he has been waiting to give the 21-year-old his chance at senior level, per Joyce:
“I was hoping to bring him in last month but he had an injury. He’s a player I’ve seen and worked with since under-15s. He’s suffered with growing as early as he did in terms of game time throughout his career. He’s quite a quiet lad. So I’m hoping he gets a lift in confidence from how we see him, the level we think he’s capable of.“