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Southgate set to stick with back four against the US

England head coach Gareth Southgate will stick with a back four for the game against the United States on Friday, according to The Telegraph.

The back four was successful against Iran, and the Three Lions will employ it against the Americans. Despite the win, Southgate has reportedly not shelved the idea of a back three, but it is on hold for now.

England players expect a flexible approach, and Kyle Walker’s return will allow Southgate to make tactical tweaks against different opponents.

Southgate may return to a back three later in the tournament, and Walker’s ability to play as the third centre-back will be crucial.

The Manchester City right-back has returned from groin surgery. He participated in England’s first training session in Qatar.

England’s performance on Monday has led the manager to stick with the formation. England played in a 4-3-3 and swept the Iranians aside in a 6-2 thrashing.

Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka grabbed a brace, while Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling scored from a brilliant Harry Kane cross.

Jude Bellingham also scored and received plaudits for his performance in midfield alongside Declan Rice.

Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish came from the bench and added to the scoreline. However, England conceded two goals from FC Porto striker Mehdi Taremi.

The 30-year-old stole in behind before firing home in the second half. The referee also called a soft penalty that the striker converted.

With that emphatic result, England took the top spot in Group B as Wales and USA drew. The Three Lions will face the US aiming to prove that their opening-day result was no fluke.

It will be unsurprising to see Southgate start the same XI from the Iran game. However, he has fresh concerns over Harry Kane’s foot injury. The manager will hold his breath as the Tottenham Hotspur striker undergoes scans today.

Back-up striker Callum Wilson is also carrying a knock. Leicester City midfielder James Maddison has not trained since joining the squad.

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