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England coach Southgate explains axing Liverpool fullback Alexander-Arnold: I must go with ones I believe in

England coach Gareth Southgate has explained axing Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold for tonight's Nations League clash with Germany.

Southgate left the Liverpool defender on the bench for the defeat to Italy last week and looks set to go with Kieran Trippier for the Nations League clash at Wembley.

James Ward-Prowse, Jarrod Bowen and Fikayo Tomori have also been dropped but it is Alexander-Arnold's omission that may only increase the volume of questions directed at the under-pressure England boss.

Southgate described the battle for the right-back spot as “difficult" ahead of the game and suggested his preference for playing wing-backs was behind the move.

“Of course, he does have a fantastic range of passing, we're blessed with different profiles of player in that position.

“If we play with wing-backs, Trippier and Reece James are also exceptional with the ball, in different ways, and we're always having to look at the full package with everything and assess the players on all of their attributes

“They've all been to Champions League finals, some of them have been to latter stages of major tournaments with us, Trent's won the league, Trippier's won the Spanish league, [Kyle] Walker's won the English league, there are so many good attributes about them.

“It's a really difficult position to make decisions on, but we have to go with the ones we believe, and ultimately I'll be judged on the outcome, as we know."

Southgate insisted he has not given up on Alexander-Arnold and indicated that Jurgen Klopp's style of play has been key to bringing the best out of the 23-year-old - something he is yet to do.

He added: “I don't see risks. You can have a style of play and a way of playing, and a balance to the team, that... at Liverpool they find a way of playing that brings the best out of his attributes.

“And that's what we're all trying to do with every team, you're trying to build a team that accentuates the positives, and within the group protects yourselves against how the opponents might come from you."



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