Gareth Southgate set to make surprising midfield change against Wales

2 months ago

Jordan Henderson will get the nod from Gareth Southgate for England's final World Cup Group B game against Wales on Tuesday.

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The Liverpool captain will replace Jude Bellingham in midfield, giving the 19-year-old a well-deserved rest ahead of the knockout stages - as long as England avoid a defeat by a four-goal margin.

Henderson came on for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who is 13 years his junior, against the USA but failed to make a difference in a drab performance.

Bellingham was outstanding against Iran in England's opening game of the tournament, scoring the first goal of a 6-2 rout with a fine planted header. Like much of the team, however, he struggled to make an impact against the USA in the following 0-0 draw.

Henderson, at his third World Cup, will likely partner Declan Rice in midfield with more changes expected in other areas of the pitch. It will be the 72nd cap for his country.

With qualification to the round of 16 all but ensured, Southgate can afford to give game time to some of the players in his squad who have yet to feature beyond substitute appearances.

This could mean Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford spearheading the attack, it should still be a strong England team taking the field.

Knowing a win will guarantee top spot and a draw could risk them moving back into the runner-up position, there is still something to play for.

Wales, on the other hand, must beat England and hope for a draw between Iran and the USA to advance to the knockout stages.

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