Spurs connection at the back between Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Eric Dier could be key for England
PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 June 2018
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Gareth Southgate could pick four players with links to Tottenham Hotspur in defence and it may provide some much-needed sturdiness
While most of the focus will be on England’s attacking talent at the 2018 World Cup, they will need to be solid at the back too.
A lot of the responsibility will be on players from Tottenham Hotspur as Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier chase starting XI spots.
Kyle Walker is most likely assured of a place in the team to play Tunisia and also learnt his trade under the guidance of Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
So there will be a real north London feel about England’s attack and defence and some of the relationships built in N17 will be on show in Russia.
Manchester City’s Walker is due to play on the right of a back three and will most likely have Trippier on the outside as a wing-back.
It will be a nice moment for the pair who have always had a strong bond despite being rivals at right-back at Spurs.
Trippier had to be patient when he joined from Burnley in the summer of 2015 and hardly featured in the Premier League during his first season in the capital.
It was a similar story in the first half of 2016/17, but the ex-Man City trainee managed to move ahead of Walker in the pecking order and has never looked back.
Walker departed for City months later and even though his main competition had left, Trippier has continued to go from strength to strength and will be a solid wing-back for Southgate in Russia.
If selected, Rose will be the same and if he does secure a starting XI berth it will end a tough year for the left-back.
Rose spoke out this month about battling depression in a brave and candid way and if he can rediscover his form of 2016, he will be a great asset for England on the left.
Dier has been a model professional since moving to Tottenham in August 2014, equally comfortable in the middle of the park or defence.
He has been a consistent player for Pochettino over the last four years and was one of the better England performers at the Euro 2016 finals. If made a starter, he will not let his country down.