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27th Mar 2018

Jesse Lingard starts ahead of Dele Alli again and England fans are divided

Does Dele Alli deserve a start?

Reuben Pinder

Southgate will have his reasoning

Jesse Lingard has kept his place in the England starting line up for tonight’s game against Italy after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Friday.

Consequently, Dele Alli will start from the bench once again. Favouring a formation with three centre-backs and two wing-backs, Southgate does not have enough attacking spaces to fit all the attacking talent into the team which means someone will draw the short straw. Tonight it was Alli, in the summer it could be someone else.

You get the sense that this will become the debate in the summer: who should start alongside Kane and Sterling, Lingard or Alli?

At the moment the general consensus seems to be Lingard, although with the fickle nature of football fans, that could all change in a week.

We should remember that Harry Kane is out injured at the moment, and his relationship with Alli is partly what makes the latter so dangerous. Upon Kane’s return, it’s likely we’ll see them reunite in England shirts. Until then, Jesse Lingard will take the supporting role in attack.