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ALBANIA UNDONE: England cruise to victory in Tirana

 

England made it two wins from two in Group I of World Cup Qualifying with a 2-0 victory over Albania in Tirana.

Gareth Southgate made six changes to the side that drubbed minnows San Marino at Wembley in midweek.

The Three Lions travelled to Tirana expecting a bigger challenge and set up in a more cautious 4-2-3-1 formation, with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips playing as the holding midfielders.

Harry Kane opened the scoring shortly before half time when the in-form Luke Shaw delivered a pinpoint cross in to the area and Kane nodded home.

Mason Mount doubled England’s lead shortly after the hour mark, finishing neatly after some confusion in the Albanian defence.

 

Formation Takes Shape

 

After suggesting he already knew his team for the first game of the European Championships, people have been guessing how Southgate’s England might set up.

The 4-2-3-1 used in Tirana appears to be the biggest indicator of what we can expect to see, with the fitness of Jordan Henderson a key factor in deciding who will play holding midfield.

“We have to keep pushing this group of players,” said Southgate post-match.

“We controlled most of the game and should have scored more and I didn’t particularly like the way we managed the last 15 minutes. I thought there were decisions we made that needed to be better in order to either score more or not invite pressure.

“There are times when you [have to] learn how to see games through, it was about decision making as a collective. The game was won by that stage but I’m determined that our standards have got to be really high.”

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