Gareth Southgate considering radical plan for two major England stars against Switzerland

A solution to the Bellingham and Foden issue? (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate is considering playing both Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham in no10 roles as part of a radical shake-up of his England set-up against Switzerland.

The Three Lions have limped into the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 with a series of underwhelming performances with Bellingham and Harry Kane coming to the rescue in their last 16 clash against Slovakia.

Southgate is mulling over a switch to a back three – a system England have not used in a competitive match since their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Such a switch would open up new options in attack with Sky Sports reporting it could see Foden and Bellingham starting in central roles behind striker Harry Kane.  It is one option that has been experimented with in training this week.

How to accommodate and get the best out of Foden and Bellingham has been one of Southgate’s biggest conundrums.

Foden has started England’s four games at the European Championship playing off the left of an attacking three beside Bellingham with Bukayo Saka on the right.

There have been calls from former England stars for Bellingham to drop into a deeper midfield role alongside Declan Rice but Southgate has so far resisted that option with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher and Kobbie Mainoo all having a turn in partnering the Arsenal star in the middle of the park.

Southgate could switch to a back three against Switzerland (Picture: /AFP via Getty Images)

While Southgate could yet decide to continue with the same back four formation he has used throughout the competition so far, Marc Guehi’s absence is thought to be a driving factor in the tactical rethink.

Predicted England XI vs Switzerland

Could Southgate switch to three at the back?

The Crystal Palace star will serve a one-match suspension against Switzerland with Ezri Konsa in the running to take his place in the side. The Aston Villa star would be expected to slot in beside John Stones, with Kyle Walker moving inside to form a back three.

Stones was pictured in training on Wednesday wearing heavy strapping on his leg but the Manchester City star has dismissed any concerns over his fitness.

‘All good. Looks worse with the strapping than what I have done,’ Stones told a press conference on Thursday.

Stones fit for Saturday’s game (Picture: Richard Pelham/Getty Images)

Stones was giving little away as to what systems the England squad have been working on in training but is confident the players are striving to get the best out of each other.

‘How we work on different pressing, systems, shapes and build-up – as I said before we’re improving as a team and how we’re playing our football,’ he said.

‘We’ve worked really hard to do that and get the best out of all our players. We have one more session before the game so hopefully we can continue to fine tune.’

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