By 90Min
July 07, 2018

England manager Gareth Southgate has hinted that he could alter the makeup of his side to get the most out of Tottenham star Dele Alli ahead of their quarter final match against Sweden.

The 22-year-old midfielder has featured in just two on the Three Lions' matches at the World Cup this summer, largely due to a thigh injury he picked up in their dramatic win over Tunisia on matchday one.

But after making his comeback in England's penalty shootout victory over Colombia, manager Southgate has suggested that Alli could be pushed further up the pitch in an attempt to create more goalscoring opportunities against Janne Andersson's Sweden.

"We had good controlled possession, but we do want to create more clear chances and I think we can create more clear-cut chances," Southgate said, quoted by the Mirror.

"That will be tough against Sweden. I think we’ll have more possession, but Sweden have proved they’ve got results with 30% possession. Possession doesn’t mean you win games.

"In terms of Dele, I thought his performance against Tunisia was as good as he’s had since I’ve been England manager.

Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

"He’s at his best making those forward runs and really threatening the opponents with those forward runs from midfield.

"Maybe we need to encourage him a little bit more to get into those areas where I think his strengths lie and where he can have the biggest impact on the game. That’s something we’ve got to think about tactically.

"He did a fantastic job for the team. Sometimes in those matches when you play against top opposition, it’s about a balance of doing both."

England will be hoping to avoid another drawn-out afternoon of football when they face in Sweden in Samara, where Alli's link up with club teammate and compatriot Harry Kane could be decisive.

All eyes could then be on Saturday's late kick off between Russia and Croatia, where the winner of that tie will face either England or Sweden for a place in the World Cup final.

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