Pundit urges Southgate not to pick Tottenham’s Dier

Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino has urged England boss Gareth Southgate not to make changes against Belgium on Thursday night.

The Three Lions have already booked their spot in the knockout round of the 2018 World Cup having collected six points from their two Group G fixtures this summer.

Thursday’s clash with Belgium will determine who tops the section, and it has been suggested that Southgate could shuffle his pack ahead of the first knockout round.

However, pundit Cascarino has insisted that the Three Lions head coach should resist the temptation to include the likes of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier, who faced criticism from his club’s own fans last term.

Jordan Henderson has been chosen ahead of Dier in the holding midfield position for England this summer, and Cascarino has claimed that bringing in the 24-year-old against Belgium would send out ‘the wrong message’ at a key stage of the competition.

Cascarino told The Times:

“There has been talk of Southgate bringing in Eric Dier as extra protection in midfield against Belgium and in the knockout rounds but England’s manager should resist that temptation.

“Changing tactics and players sends the wrong message and suggests they are worried about the opposition.

“I’m still unsure about a back three but it is a system the team is used to and Jordan Henderson has been excellent. Keep attacking and keep the momentum going.”

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, whilst John Stones (2) and Jesse Lingard were also on the scoresheet as England thumped Panama 6-1 in their second group match on Sunday.

The Three Lions will face either the winner of Group H or the runner-up of Group H in the last-16 stage of the competition, with Japan, Senegal and Colombia all possible opponents.