An unconventional 3-1-4-2 system has been the driving force behind England’s march to the World Cup semi-final, but it would be naive to think the formation can work against every opponent.
And considering Croatia are the most challenging side England will have faced so far at the tournament in Russia, perhaps Wednesday is the opportune occasion for Gareth Southgate to try something a little different to cancel out their semi-final opponents’ strengths.
The predominant one is central midfield, through El Clasico duo Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, and the obvious attempt to counter-act their influence would be toughening up England’s own engine room, bringing in Eric Dier for a more offensive-minded option like Jesse Lingard.
As good as the Manchester United midfielder’s been at the World Cup, last time out grabbing an assist against Sweden, the priority is England’s progression through the tournament and which players are most suitable to the next game. Bearing that in mind, perhaps the sturdier Tottenham ace would have a more significant influence against Croatia.
England fans, which player would you start in midfield on Wednesday? Let us know by voting below…