England face Denmark tonight looking for a positive end to a controversial international break. 

Their first get-together since last November has been overshadowed by Harry Maguire’s arrest and the indiscretions of youngsters Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

Boss Gareth Southgate has been left fielding questions about the future of all three players, rather than being able to focus on the opening Nations League games.

And that was not helped by a lacklustre display in the 1-0 victory over Iceland, which saw Kyle Walker sent off and nearly ended in similarly disappointing fashion.

Indeed, had it not been for a last-gasp wayward penalty from Birkir Bjarnason, Raheem Sterling’s spot-kick would have earned England just a solitary point instead of all three.

But if a new-look side can win in Copenhagen, Southgate can at least take solace in his players shutting out the noise when they take to the pitch.

Conor Coady is expected to make his senior debut as part of a three-man defence — marking a return to the system used during England’s memorable run in the World Cup two years ago.

Explaining the potential changes, Southgate said: “We’ve tried different things across the week.

“Whether that is the right thing to be able to win the game, we’ve got to think that through, but it is no secret, because everything in this camp seems to have got out.

“We tried a three at the back earlier in the week. But we’ll make a decision on that before the game.”

Wolves ace Coady, 27, will not be the only debutant.

Leeds star Kalvin Phillips, 24, is also tipped to make his international bow just days before a likely first Premier League appearance against Liverpool.

Having gone 15 games unbeaten before Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium, the hosts are expected to provide a tough test for Southgate’s men.

And boss Kasper Hjulmand, managing the Danes for just the second time, will look to former Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen to provide the spark.

Did you know?

England have won their last two meetings with Denmark in all competitions, most recently a 1-0 victory in March 2014.

In-form Manchester City star Sterling has been involved in 17 goals in his last 12 games for England, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists.

Denmark have won just one of their eight competitive meetings with the Three Lions.

Skipper Harry Kane has been involved in 15 goals in his last seven England games (10 goals and five assists) but registered fewer touches than any other outfield starter for the Three Lions against Iceland.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here