Walker-Peters And Guehi Make Debuts In England Victory

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Walker-Peters And Guehi Make Debuts In England Victory -

England’s World cup preparations are underway after turning in a 2-1 victory over Switzerland at Wembley, which means they’re now unbeaten in their last twenty-one outings. But, they were made to work for it, as they had to come from behind after Breel Embolo had put Murat Yakin’s side ahead.

Debutants

Gareth Southgate, as expected, named debutants Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton and Crystal Palace skipper Marc Guehi in the starting XI. However, you could suggest that Southgate was forced into making more changes at the back than he’d have liked, with Arsenal’s Ben White coming into the team after John Stones, who was due to start, sustained an injury in the warm-up.

Not The Best Starts

Things couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start for England, with Xherdan Shaqiri cross for Embolo to glance home. And it could have been two for the away side if it wasn’t for Jordan Pickford tipping Fabian Frei’s long-range effort onto the bar. Switzerland then hit the woodwork for a second time after a corner from Shaqiri, with Pickford having to deal with Ricardo Rodriguez’s follow-up effort.

Improvement Needed

You could put things down to that old football cliché of if you don’t take your chances, you end up being punished when Luke Shaw’s strike flew past Jonas Omlin in the Switzerland goal. But it had not been a good first forty-five from England, and much improvement was going to be needed after the interval to get World Cup preparations moving in the right direction.

Second Half

England definitely upped the ante after the break, with the impressive Conor Gallagher finding skipper Harry Kane who saw his shot smothered by Omlin. And then Southgate introduced Jack Grealish, Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling and another debutant from crystal Place in Tyrick Mitchell on the hour, with England taking control of the fixture from then on in.

Harrykane -

Penalty To The Rescue

Kane and White both went close with chances to put England ahead before a Steven Zubar handball, following a VAR review, led to a penalty. And, in typical fashion, Kane dispatched it with aplomb to secure a 2-1 victory. Southgate still also had time to get minutes on the pitch for Jude Bellingham and Ollie Watkins in what was, in the end, a job well done by England.

Manager’s Thoughts

Southgate, speaking after the game, suggested it had been a “really good test” for his team and a “great challenge.” But, he was also quick to point out that they had learned about new players who have come into the picture and those who have been around the place but are perhaps lacking in experience at international level.

Time Will Tell

It will be telling between now and the World Cup which players come into Southgate’s thinking and manage to secure themselves a seat on the plane to Qatar. The likes of Walker-Peters, Guehi, Mitchell and Gallagher will all be doing their all to stake a claim, and on the showing against Switzerland, they are more than capable of making the cut.