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Alexander-Arnold drops to England bench after midfield experiment

Richard Pelham / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Gareth Southgate made one big change to his lineup for England's final match of the group stage against Slovenia on Tuesday.

The experiment of playing right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield has been set aside. Conor Gallagher, who replaced Alexander-Arnold in England's two opening matches of Euro 2024, took over starting duties alongside Declan Rice after Southgate admitted last Thursday that his midfield was "not flowing" as he'd like.

"We know it's an experiment. We know we don't have a natural replacement for Kalvin Phillips," Southgate added.

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw remains sidelined despite training with the squad for the first time at the tournament Monday. The 28-year-old has been troubled by injuries, appearing in only 12 Premier League matches during the 2023-24 season and not playing since mid-February. However, Shaw is closer to challenging Kieran Trippier for a place in the starting XI. Trippier, a right-back, is starting his third straight match on the left side of defense.

"Luke Shaw is the only one that's not really available. He'll possibly train with the team tomorrow, but he's not quite ready yet," Southgate said Monday, according to BBC Sport.

England is on four points atop Group C but has drawn heavy criticism following two unconvincing performances. After opening its campaign with a slender 1-0 win over Serbia, the Three Lions played a turgid 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Even with a defeat against Slovenia, England is assured of a place in Euro 2024's last 16 as one of the best third-placed finishers at minimum.

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