Southgate issues Alli warning
This time last year, Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Dele Alli was in the form of his short career, with his ability being deemed crucial to any chances of England succeeding in the World Cup in Russia. However, after featuring for just twenty-two minutes throughout England's two friendlies this last week, manager Gareth Southgate has warned that Alli is not guaranteed a place in his squad.
Whilst it is expected that Alli will be on the flight to Russia in June, injuries and a drop in form, combined with a change in Southgate's tactics have led to some doubt in where the former MK Dons midfielder will fit into the team.
Gareth Southgate has to try and find the correct combination of attacking players to give England the best possible way of progressing through this summer's tournament, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard battling it out with Alli for a place in that starting lineup. Alli's impressive linkup play with Spurs teammate Harry Kane could influence the manager to put the pair in his first choice team.
The former England defender has two more opportunities to watch these players in action for The Three Lions before the World Cup gets underway, with friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica coming up in early June.
It is then off to Russia, where England take on Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in the group stages, with progression to the knockout rounds the minimum expectation for the 1966 winners.