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Euro 2024: England v Slovenia team news – Gallagher is Southgate’s only change as line-ups confirmed

Trent Alexander-Arnold makes way while Luke Shaw is named among the substitutes

Gareth Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate has brought in Conor Gallagher for tonight’s Group C finale against Slovenia in Cologne, the only change from the side which drew with Denmark.

Luke Shaw is fit enough to be named among the substitutes for the first time at the tournament, despite having not played since February.

Results elsewhere mean that should England win, or should they draw and Denmark beat Serbia by fewer than two goals, then England would top Group C and go into the opposite half of the draw from Germany, Spain, France and Portugal.

Should Denmark, or Slovenia, condemn England to finish as runners-up they would face Germany in Dortmund on Saturday night (8pm).

If England lose and Denmark win then finishing third would see them face either Portugal or the winner of Belgium’s group in the Round of 16.

Alexander-Arnold experiment halted

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold misses out on the side, having been in the starting XI for the 1-0 win over Serbia and the 1-1 draw with Denmark.

He was replaced by the Blues skipper 21 minutes from time in the group opener and then just nine minutes into the second half in game two in Frankfurt with Southgate saying he wanted more energy and ‘to press better.’

In the wake of the draw with the Danes, Southgate told BBC Sport that using the 25-year-old in central midfield was ‘an experiment’ and insisted they need to improve their quality on the ball when they face Slovenia, with top-spot in Group C on the line.

He said: “At the moment we’re not using the ball well enough. We know there’s another level that we have got to find.

“We’ve definitely got to put pressure on teams better than we have done in these two matches,” he said. “That’s been part of the problem, but not keeping the ball has also been a big part of the problem.”

Southgate added: “(Trent) has had some moments where he delivered what we thought he would – it is an experiment. We don’t have a natural replacement for Kalvin Philips, but we are trying some different things – at the moment we are not flowing as we’d like, that’s for sure.”

Southgate is banking on 24-year-old Gallagher adding some energy which might help England press Slovenia when out of possession, which is something for which is side attracted criticism after a sluggish showing on a heavy pitch in Frankfurt.

The England boss told The Guardian: “We are not pressing well enough, with enough ­intensity.

“We have limitations in how we can do that with the physical condition. We can’t press as high up the pitch as we might have done in the ­qualifiers, for example. And we are not keeping the ball well enough. We have to keep the ball better and build with more control.”

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Slovenia unchanged

Slovenia boss Matjaz Kek has picked the same XI as the one which drew 1-1 with Serbia in their second game.

Forward Benjamin Sesko starts despite concerns about a thigh issue, while keeper Jan Oblak – who missed training over the weekend – is fit to start.

Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.