Gary Neville has explained how England can edge out Germany with a few tactical switches.
England face Germany in a narrative-fuelled last-16 tie at Euro 2020 on Tuesday, hoping to beat Die Nationalmannschaft at a major international tournament for the first time since the group stages of Euro 2000.
The Three Lions come into the game as favourites after topping their group with two wins and a goalless stalemate with Scotland, while Germany scraped into the knockouts with a late draw against Hungary.
But Neville feels Germany have players worth fearing and he would switch their formation to cope with their threat from wing-back.
“It concerns me playing with a back four, thinking how we’re going to get out to their wing-backs,” he told the Sky Sports Football Euros Podcast.
“I thought we really struggled against Scotland getting out to them. If they control the game at Wembley it becomes a lot more difficult game.
“I think we’ve got brilliant wing-backs in Reece James or Kieran Trippier, and Luke Shaw on the left. But my thinking was to confront Germany’s wing-backs Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens. If you stop them you’re in with a great chance of winning this game.
“If we can narrow Sterling, Saka and Kane and have those three going against Germany’s back three I think we can cause massive problems.
“In midfield they’ve got Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan, and I think Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice will deal with them in terms of making sure they get up against them, so we’re talking about who has got the best front three.
“I fancy us, whichever ones are picked, I genuinely think our front three on the pitch – with the substitutes we can make as well – I think that German back three will have serious problems against us.
“There will be people who say my team is too pragmatic, too boring. But nullify the wing-backs, deal with the central midfield where they’ve got better players than us, and let our front three run loose at their back three, and we’ll handle their front players with John Stones, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker.”