Kieran Trippier has replaced Bukayo Saka in England’s starting XI for the Euro 2020 final, with the Three Lions set to revert to a back three.
Trippier started his side’s first game of the tournament, a 1-0 win over Croatia, but he has been reduced to a supporting role since then. In his only previous start of the competition he was fielded as a left-back in a back four.
However, this time around Trippier is set to occupy a right wing-back berth in a back three. England have used the system once before in Euro 2020, in their famous 2-0 win over Germany in the round of 16.
To accommodate Trippier, Saka has dropped to the bench. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise with the Arsenal youngster seriously impressing in recent games. He secured a man of the match award in England’s final group match against Czech Republic and his cross also led to the equaliser against Denmark in the semi-finals.
It is likely that Southgate is attempting to nullify Italy’s left-hand side with the tactical tweak, an area in which they have impressed so far.
Trippier’s introduction is the only change from the XI that started England’s previous game against Denmark. This means Jordan Pickford starts in goal behind a back three of Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire. In front of them are wing-backs Trippier and Luke Shaw, as well as midfielders Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. Mason Mount, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling start in the forward positions.
Meanwhile, Italy manager Roberto Mancini has named an unchanged side for the final. Gianluigi Donnarumma starts in goal with Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Emerson in defence. Their midfield consists of Nicolo Barella, Jorginho and Marco Verratti while Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne are up front.