Gareth Southgate set to copy Chelsea tactics in bid for World Cup success with England

The Three Lions boss has decided to go with three at the back and admitted he may have to drop good players to test it.

Blues boss Antonio Conte famously switched to a 3-4-3 formation after a 3-0 hammering at Arsenal in September 2016.

Chelsea went on to run away with the title, finishing seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham.

England coach Southgate said: “I think three at the back is what we ought to do.

“In terms of the way we’d want to play from the back, I think it is a better option.

“We will benefit if we don’t keep turning the ball over. But I think it gives us good stability and it gives us easier solutions for our midfield players as well.”

Premier League teams were quick to follow Chelsea’s example and Southgate experimented with it in friendlies against Germany and France.

He used the system for the first time in a World Cup qualifier in Sunday’s 1-0 win in Lithuania, having previously favoured 4-2-3-1.

Rookies Harry Maguire and Michael Keane played alongside John Stones and Southgate admitted that even with the a trio of centre backs England were exposed at times.

“We were still open with three,” he admitted.

The formation will be given a severe test next month in the glamour Wembley friendlies against Germany and Brazil on November 10 and 14 respectively.

“We have to have some consistency in formation, some consistency in what we are asking the players to do,” he added.

“But the thing we don’t know is who we get through the door in November and March with all the club games they’ve got.

“We had a number missing this time, which is why it was even more important to play Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane because you don’t know if you are going to get them together to play in that next period.

“We have to focus on a system and really try to hone it, that might mean we might have to leave some good players out.”

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