Wayne Rooney has called for England boss Gareth Southgate to start Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford in Tuesday’s clash against Germany in the Round of 16.
The Derby County boss believes Rashford should start in a front three alongside Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling for the Three Lions.
It would mean none of Jack Grealish, Phil Foden or Mason Mount are in from the start, with Rooney believe Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson should start in a midfield three.
Southgate has fluctuated between a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 in Euro 2020, with the latter used against Czech Republic last week with Aston Villa star Grealish in from the start.
Rooney believes a more conservative approach which could break up German attacks and utilise the pace of Rashford and Sterling on the counter-attack would be the most effective approach.
The former England captain highlighted Germany playing a wing-back formation and leaving space in the channels which could be exploited.
He also underlined the lack of pace in the German defence, particularly from the experienced centre-back Mats Hummels, as an area to exploit.
Despite previously calling on Grealish to be selected from the start in the tournament, Rooney now believes this match would be better suited to the more direct and pacey Rashford.
Rooney wrote in his column with The Times : “After all my championing of Jack Grealish, I wouldn’t play him from the start against Germany.
“He was one of England’s better players against the Czech Republic and it is not that my opinion of him has changed.
Which attacking players should England start with against Germany? Comment below
“My thinking is entirely down to how the Germans play. Different opponents demand different approaches and Tuesday’s game is tailor-made for Marcus Rashford — but not Jack.
“Germany play three at the back with a high line and what they try to do is almost suffocate you.
“They pass side to side, get the ball in wide areas, come back and go all the way out to the other flank, then get balls into the penalty area.
“And when you win it, they want you to play a pass to feet because that means — with their line pushed right up — they can go and press you high up the pitch.
“The more players you have who want to take the ball to feet, the more they can press, so instead of Jack I’d be looking to have runners either side of Harry Kane.
“My instruction would be to attack the spaces behind their wing backs when they go forward and make runs down the channels to the sides of their centre backs — especially given Mats Hummels’s problems against pace.”
Germany are expected to line up in the 3-4-2-1 formation which utilises Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens of Atalanta as wing-backs to exploit the full width of the pitch.
Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry are expected to form a fluid three-man attacking system.