Former Liverpool and England midfielder Adam Lallana has explained why Kalvin Phillips will be crucial for the Three Lions against Germany.
The build-up has already well and truly begun for England’s Euro 2020 Round of 16 clash with old rivals Germany, which is set to take place on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.
Gareth Southgate’s men got the short end of the stick to draw 2014 World Cup champions Germany despite winning their group, but there is seldom a way to winning this competition without beating some of the biggest and best teams.
And England will have to manage that from the very first knockout stage fixture here to progress, but ahead of the game, they have been warned that they will not manage it without key midfielder Phillips.
The Leeds United star dazzled in England’s opening game win over Croatia, but there have been some questions since as the Three Lions endured a wobble against Scotland before beating Czech Republic.
Nevertheless, Phillips is expected to start against Germany, and Brighton midfielder Lallana has explained why that is so important.
“With two defensive-minded No 6s in Rice and Phillips the team are compact centrally,” he told The Times. “Their first instincts are to protect. That is a vital mindset and is backed by peripheral vision, awareness and the athleticism to react.
“Being adventurous is not discouraged, but it must be calculated against the responsibility to shield if possession is lost. England have benefited from this.
“These qualities should come to the fore even more now against Germany in the round of 16, with Rice’s ability to break up possession and the robustness of Phillips crucial.”