Gareth Southgate Trials Man City Duo As Centre-Back Pairing Ahead of England's European Championship Opener

Both John Stones and Kyle Walker are set to be vital to Gareth Southgate's England starting eleven to take on Croatia in their opening group game of the 2020 European Championships.
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As the days tick down to the England National Team's opening Group C game, questions and rumours surrounding Gareth Southgate's team have started to intensify. 

An exclusive story by Mike McGrath from the Telegraph has revealed both Kyle Walker and John Stones are to be vital part of Gareth Southgate's planned defensive line. The England manager is claimed to have practised both a 3-4-3 and a four man defensive formation in training.

In both systems however, John Stones and Kyle Walker have played alongside each other, in either a centre-back position or as a centre-back and right-back combination. In one of these formations, Manchester United defender Luke Shaw also appeared as a centre-back.

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Playing Kyle Walker on the right side of a back three worked so well in the 2018 World Cup for Gareth Southgate's side - in a run where England reached a rare semi-final, and the 31 year-old was vital in dealing with pace on the counter attack.

After a spell out of the side - coinciding with a rise in Joao Cancelo's form - Walker fought his way back into Pep Guardiola's Manchester City best eleven with impressive performances against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. 

Other Manchester City stars, such as Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling, will also be looking for spots in the side. But it does look like the Yorkshire born pair will definitely be stepping out when England face Croatia on Sunday. 

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