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Home > England Vs Slovenia: Conor Gallagher Starts Amid Confusion Over Knockout Opponents

England Vs Slovenia: Conor Gallagher Starts Amid Confusion Over Knockout Opponents

25 June 2024 • 8:14pm


12 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 Kane runs back from the D to receive the ball, back to goal, and knock it back to Gallagher. He has very few options ahead of him and plays it infield as England go from side to side. ‘Not enough movement ahead of him,’ says Lee Dixon who urges them to take more risks against a very well drilled back four.


10 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 The pitch has been watered and both Gallagher and Saka slip, the latter when Kane played Foden in behind down the left and the City forward centred for the Arsenal winger. But Foden was offside, Kane having dithered before threading it out from the inside-left.

Drkic tackles Foden Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images 8:09PM

8 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 The whistling has already begun as England horseshoe the ball around, looking for an opening. Eventually England spray it out to Saka on the right, very high by the corner flag, but the distance it had to travel meany Janza could get back to make the tackle and earn a goalkick of Saka’s shins.


6 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 England’s high press is thwarted by Slovenia’s bravery in keeping four up front and when Foden is isolated, Janza races down the left and whips over a deep cross. Sporar, once of the Boro, heads it back across goal having beaten Trippier and Sesko, to the left of the penalty spot, steers a header under no challenge right down Pickford’s throat. The header back was too loopy to impart any real power on it but his positioning is a real alarm for England.


4 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 Walker’s Roadrunner pace is required to hare back and stop Stojanovic who likes to bomb on. Kane and Foden are demosntrably pressing high but Slovenia, on the ball, look slick.


2 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 Foden pressing high puts Karnicnik under pressure but the right-back manages to get rid bit not for long as England come back down the left and Drkusic tackles Foden by the byline. Looked like a foul but the referee signals the goal-kick.


1 min: England 0 Slovenia 0 England kick off and conspicuously look for a fast start, knocking the ball around with snap and urgency until Bellingham is forced to go back to Pickford and then Geuhi chips a long ball up the left that skips through to the keeper.


ITV is treating us … To the Matterface/Dixon double act.


More booing of the national anthems Primarily of Slovenia’s, it has to be said.

Gareth Southgate came out of the dressing room and applauded the England fans before taking his seat in the dugout. His message is that his team want to give them a performance their support deserves.


The players are in the tunnel And Pickford, as usual, is second in line. He’s wearing orange tonight which a match against Holland in the next round would preclude.


Permutations for England’s possible route to Berlin for the final England are increasingly likely to face a European Championship last-16 clash with Netherlands if they win Group C tonight.

Austria’s win over the Dutch consigned them to third place in Group D, significantly boosting the chances of Gareth Southgate’s side playing them if the Three Lions beat Slovenia.

That is because Croatia are almost certain to be eliminated after finishing Group B in third on two points.

The winners of Group C were always going to play one of the third-placed teams from Group D, E or F, with only four of the six nations who end up in that position qualifying for the last-16.

But, with half of the groups now complete, the potential scenarios are starting to narrow.

England could still face any of the sides in Group E, who are all locked on three points after winning one and losing one of their first two matches.

They are Romania, Belgium, Slovakia and Ukraine.

They could also face one of Turkey, Czech Republic or Georgia from Group F.

However, there is every chance that group will end with the latter two nations being eliminated on one point each.

If Croatia also go out on two points, England would definitely play Netherlands in the last 16.

The same would apply if the Croatians go home along with whoever finishes third in Group E.

England have never beaten a major football nation in a knockout tie away from Wembley in their entire history.

Those countries include Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

England lost their 2019 Nations League semi-final 3-1 against the Dutch, and were also beaten in a group game at Euro 88 by the same score.

They thrashed Netherlands 4-1 in the group stages of Euro 96 – but that was at Wembley.


Pickford seems OK He has been wearing tubigrips on both wrists for years. Nothing to worry about. Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson stand by …

Jordan Pickford spooked a few observers by feeling his wrist gingerly during the warm-up Credit: Eddie Keogh/The FA via Getty Images 7:44PM

Sharp Kane Warm-up over for the England starting line-up. The attackers wrapped up with finishing practice and Harry Kane smashed his first into the back of the net, if that is an omen. Luke Shaw was involved in the warm-up. He has been named among the subs but Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will not come off the bench. It is promising for the next round, however.


Roy Keane responds to Rice’s request to show some love The modern player does seem to be a bit more delicate to criticism and, I know there is more of it with social media particularly.

It is up to these players, I judge them on actions. Look, we know how quickly football changes. If they put on a good performance and win tonight… Declan Rice is talking about show us some love. Listen, come on, it’s serious stuff, it’s a football [tournament] people have made huge sacrifices to travel. You get the love back when you perform.

Look, we all played at a decent level and when things are going great, lots of people are patting you on the back. But the reality is, if you’re not performing, you get criticised.

Nobody likes to be criticised but it is part of your journey. I feel like saying to these players, and I know some people think I’m a dinosaur, but it is a case of rolling your sleeves up. These are such a talented group of players so go out there and perform and you will get plenty of plaudits. You can change it around very quickly.


ITV reports that Jordan Pickford is troubled by his right wrist And has spent time during the warm-up looking at it and rubbing it.


Gareth Southgate talks to ITV Sport Slovenia are quite direct, so we’ll have to defend well which we have up to this point. They’ve got everything to play for so it should be another cracking atmosphere.

We’re happy with the way we trained. But we have to go and deliver, it’s as simple as that.


Shoulda, woulda, coulda It’s not nailed on that England will win the group, nor that they would play Netherlands if they do. Here’s how it could not be:

If England win 3-0 or more tonight and Denmark also win, Slovenia would then fall below Croatia in the ‘3rd place table’ and we’d avoid Holland in the next round.

A win of less than 3-0 and/or Denmark don’t win then it’s almost certainly Holland

— England Extra (@EnglandExtra) June 25, 2024 7:23PM

The two halves of the knockout draw 7:21PM

Carra’s view I expected more changes. England have had a big problem out of possession so far. Their shots on target total is among the least of any side in the tournament. That shows that flooding the side with attacking players does not necessarily mean the team is more attacking. Opponents have found it too easy to push England to the edge of their own penalty area.

For me, Harry Kane is the player to build the team around, which is why I was calling for more pace around him. England’s issue on the left is still there as the right-footed Kieran Trippier would benefit from a left footed winger like Anthony Gordon. Phil Foden will keep cutting inside.

Having said all that, the manager makes the decisions based on what he sees in training. He’s made the change he feels is right. Let’s hope it works.


Declan Rice speaks to ITV It’s coming from pundits who have been in our shoes. I’ve been in football long enough to know how it works. I don’t know why it’s a negative thing. We’re talking as if we’re not getting out of the group. Of course we are [fit enough]. We’re built to play these kind of seasons. Because we sit in a low block, people think we’re leggy, we’re not fit enough.

People were calling for Trent to play in midfield. So we play him in midfield and you want to bring him down? Trent is one of the best footballers I’ve ever seen. He can play midfield. I’ve seen it for England, I’ve seen it for Liverpool.

You’re going to see us more on the front foot.

Get behind us. Be positive. Be confident. Give players love because when our attacking layers feel that confidence they’re unstoppable. Let’s have it.


Mbappe’s penalty against Poland puts him level with Kane 13 – Jugadores europeos con más goles en grandes torneos (EURO + Mundial) desde 2018:

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— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 25, 2024 7:07PM

ITV has started early They have Ange Postecoglou joining their big three – Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Ian Wright. Postecoglou thinks Foden will have been told to stay out wide and stop drifting into the middle because with the right-footed Trippier all but incapable of going down the line, Foden is going to have to maintain the width to make space for Bellingham.


If England win Group C It seems that they will play Netherlands in the Round of 16 in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday at 5pm.


England v Slovenia line-ups England Pickford (Everton); Walker, Stones (both Man City), Guehi (Crystal Palace), Trippier (Newcastle); Gallagher (Chelsea), Rice; Saka (both Arsenal), Bellingham (Real Madrid), Foden (Man City); Kane (Bayern Munich).

Slovenia Oblak (Atlético); Karnicnik (Celje) Drkusic (Sochi), Bijol (Udinese), Janza (Gornik Zabrze); Stojanovic (Sampdoria), Cerin (Panathinaikos), Elsnik (Olimpija Ljubljana), Mlakar (Pisa); Sporar (Panathinaikos), Sesko (RB Leipzig).

Referee Clément Turpin (France).


England team announced One change as reported: Gallagher replaces Alexander-Arnold.

England have named their line-up for tonight’s clash against Slovenia. As reported by the Telegraph yesterday, Gareth Southgate is sticking with Phil Foden in his attack and bringing in Conor Gallagher to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold. Slovenia striker Benjamin Sesko has been carrying a quad injury but he is fit to start at RheinEnergieStadion.


The next step In the press room, all eyes are on the two matches in Group D, with England to face the third-placed country should they finish top of Group C. There is a possibility that Gareth Southgate’s team could face France.

As it stands it would be the Dutch. But there’s still a couple of minutes of normal time to go in both matches.


It’s not all about the England fans How do Slovenia fare in our ratings? Euro 2024 fans: Ranking all 24 sets of supporters in Germany from worst to best


A reminder of England’s expected starting XI Pickford (Everton); Walker, Stones (both Man City), Guehi (Crystal Palace), Trippier (Newcastle); Gallagher (Chelsea), Rice; Saka (both Arsenal), Bellingham (Real Madrid), Foden (Man City); Kane (Bayern Munich).


Familiar face Slovenia’s wiry central midfielder Timi Max Elsnik joined Derby County as a 17-year-old and spent four years at Pride Park, playing three times in the League Cup. He also has three spells on loan in League Two starting with 25 matches and five goals for Swindon, 24 and four goals for Mansfield and nine games and one goal for Northampton (Cobblers!) before moving back to Ljubljana in 2019.

Credit: REUTERS/Leonhard Simon 6:18PM

Slovenia have named the same XI in opening two games? Will it be a hat-trick tonight? They play a twist on 4-4-2, sometimes switching to 4-1-3-2. Bot

Both full-backs, Erik Janza and Zan Karnicnik, have scored a goal apiece in their 1-1 draws with Denmark and Serbia. The starting XI in those games was:

Oblak (Atlético); Karnicnik (Celje) Drkusic (Sochi), Bijol (Udinese), Janza (Gornik Zabrze); Stojanovic (Sampdoria), Cerin (Panathinaikos), Elsnik (Olimpija Ljubljana), Mlakar (Pisa); Sporar (Panathinaikos), Sesko (RB Leipzig).


This will be ITV Sport’s first England match of the Euros And here’s Ian Wright to take you behind the scenes:


Weather and its possible toll It is estimated to be 30C in Cologne today. The Telegraph team can confirm from their tram ride to Rheinenergiestadion that it is sweltering. With less than two-and-a-half hours to kick-off, it could be a hot one for England tonight. Gareth Southgate referenced the heat when explaining why he took his entire frontline off against Denmark last week. Declan Rice told fans to expect a new, high-pressing England tonight but it might be difficult to maintain that throughout the 90 minutes.


Early arrivals Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images The last time England played in Cologne they scored one of their greatest tournament goals even if they ended up drawing 2-2.


England’s record breakers Jordan Pickford and John Stones are expected to start against Slovenia tonight and will equal an England record. It will be their 22nd successive tournament starts, which ties the record set by Ashley Cole.

Pickford and Stones started in all matches from the finals in the World Cups of 2018 (7) and 2022 (5), plus Euro 2020 (7) and the current finals (2). Cole’s 22 matches were between the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Harry Kane this evening and whether England will get enough pace around him to create chances. He has the chance to add to his five goals at Euro finals, with only Wayne Rooney (6) and Alan Shearer (7) scoring more for England.


‘England: Dry his eyes, mates’ England fans are not the only supporters at the tournament hoping Gareth Southgate’s men finally come to the party tonight. Followers of Croatia, who conceded a last-gasp equaliser in their decisive Group B game against Italy on Monday, will be praying for a heavy defeat for Slovenia to keep alive their faint hopes of qualifying as one of the four best third-placed teams. Both countries are currently on two points but Croatia’s goal difference is -3 compared with Slovenia’s 0. An equally heavy defeat for Denmark (also on two points) against Serbia would also do the job if England fail to turn up again.

Can England give Luka Modric reason to smile again? Credit: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images 4:41PM

Kit watch England will be “all white” again tonight at RheinEnergieStadion, with white shirts, shorts and socks. In their clash against Denmark they wore their official home colours which is blue shorts.

Are the omens good for an all-white kit? They wore it in the two crucial victories against Italy in their qualifiers to reach the Euros. But they also wore it when they played the Italians in the Euro 2020 final and lost on penalties.

Slovenia will be in all blue.

And what to make of those togs? Here’s Thom Gibbs, Jeff Banks and Caryn Franklin being indisposed:


Good afternoon Rob Bagchi here, taking over from the redoubtable Ellen McLaughlin, for the duration. England have played Slovenia at a major tournament once before, back at the 2010 World Cup under Fabio Capello, when they won 1-0 with qualification to the Round of 16 on the line after lacklustre draws with USA and Algeria. Jermain Defoe scored the goal, set up by James Milner and yet when you look back on the starting XI, it’s hard to remember the logic behind England being third favourites to win at the start of the competition:

James; Johnson, Upson, Terry, Cole; Gerrard, Lampard, Barry, Milner; Rooney, Defoe.

The 2024 team may have disappointed so far but nothing like the 2016 team, the 2014 team, the 2012 team, the 2010 team, the 2006 team… yea, even unto the Middle Ages.


Fancy a flutter on tonight’s game? The interviews from players were very professional following disappointment against Denmark. Now it’s time for the performances to be equally as professional on the pitch. Back the Three Lions to dispatch Slovenia with these Euros betting offers


Matters to be decided elsewhere first Before Group C draws to a close this evening, attention will be on Group D to see what order Netherlands, France and Austria will finish in, including who takes the coveted top spot. Poland are already eliminated and cannot reach the last 16.

Two blogs, both running concurrently on Telegraph Sport, both matches kicking off at 5pm. Kylian Mbappe in a mask, Dutch fans in orange

Follow live: Netherlands vs Austria

Follow live: France vs Poland


The man in the middle tonight Frenchman Clement Turpin will be on referee duties tonight for England vs Slovenia.

A PE teacher in France, Turpin is officiating at his third Euros, and was also the referee for Liverpool’s Champions League defeat by Real Madrid in 2022.

He’s been on the whistle once so far in Germany, in the very opening match between the hosts and Scotland, as he initially didn’t send off Ryan Porteous for the Scots, before changing his mind over the tackle on Ilkay Gundogan following a VAR review.


Barnabas Varga update Breaking off from England matters a second, and a positive update on Hungary striker Barnabas Varga following that sickening collision in his side’s victory over Scotland on Sunday.

The 29-year-old suffered fractures to his face after colliding with goalkeeper Angus Gunn and was immediately taken to hospital in Stuttgart.

After undergoing surgery, he has been paid a visit by manager Marco Rossi and his coaching staff, as well as defender Endre Botka.

Varga’s father, Andras, speaking with Hungarian Newspaper Nemzeti Sport, also said: “It is not yet known when he will be released from the hospital in Stuttgart, nor how long he will miss.

“It’s no secret, the family went through difficult moments in front of the television screen, but now we can be calmer.”


Balkan tensions Beefing up the European Championship finals from 16 teams to 24 is good news for broadcasters and advertisers but has had some unintended consequences. One is an increased chance of internecine Balkan tension, especially when Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Albania qualify for the same tournament.

Of Uefa’s 55 member countries, seven are the former Yugoslavian nations. With the addition of Albania, which shares borders with three of those as well as Greece, it has led to a litany of incidents since the tournament began.

Read more: How Balkan tension is fuelling decades-old animosity at Euro 2024


Back to booze talk . . . Barmen and women have been met with opprobrium from England fans in Cologne in the countdown to tonight’s match when they were served with what they felt were ‘half measures’ of the local brew.

A barman serves Kolsch in Cologne Credit: Alamy/Miguel Pereira Supporters visiting the German city have been surprised when rounds of traditional 200ml glasses, one third of the size of a pint, were placed on their tables.

In Cologne, bars serve a traditional beer called kolsch, which can only be produced in the 2,000-year-old city and its surrounding area, enjoying a similar protected status to that of champagne in France.

Kolsch is only served in thin cylindrical glasses known as a stange, or “poles”, because the beer would go stale in a bigger glass. It is often served on a circular tray known as a kranz which holds between eight to 10 glasses.

Among those enjoying the beer with friends on Tuesday – but underwhelmed by the size of the measures – were Daniel Burton, 23, who works in marketing and Liam Terrington, 23, a user experience designer, from London.

“It’s alright but it’s gone in three sips – you could even shot it,” Mr Burton said as he finished up his latest round before a waitress asked if the group would like another.

“It is a shock, we are ordering more rounds quicker,” Mr Terrington added. “It tastes good but a normal serving would be nice. It could be a long time if we have to order at the bar.”

Read the full story here


Slovenians out in force It is not just England fans who are enjoying their day in the German sunshine. Slovenia supporters are out in force in Cologne, hoping the footballers can emulate their cyclists who have, in recent years, become a pre-eminent force in men’s road cycling with the likes of Tadej Pogacar winning the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and various prestigious one-day races.


England fans urged to drink non-alcoholic beer England fans have been urged to drink non-alcoholic beer amid soaring temperatures in Cologne and across Europe, reports Neil Johnston from Cologne.

Temperatures in Cologne could reach up to 30C on Tuesday as parts of the Continent and Britain brace for a heatwave.

Organisers are on the look-out for supporters who may become dehydrated after drinking too much alcohol.

It will hit 25C when the teams kick-off at 9pm local time – and with 56 per cent humidity it will feel more like 29C in the stadium.

Read the full story here 1:13PM

Readers have their say: ‘England will cruise past Slovenia tonight’ 12:55PM

England need both a result – and a performance tonight Whatever the rights and wrong of the scatological criticism aimed at England by Gary Lineker and Co, there is no doubt that Gareth Southgate and his players need to re-engage a disillusioned public, writes Jason Burt this morning.

The response to the underwhelming European Championship showing, so far, has been a rising tide of anger and frustration. Failure to provide an improved performance in the last group game against Slovenia will risk that developing into a tsunami or, as Lineker might put it, a ‘s—storm’.

Read more: Southgate needs to win back love of the nation


Southgate refuses to rip up team Ahead of tonight’s game, Gareth Southgate has defiantly vowed not to rip up his team, with Phil Foden poised to keep his place as England attempt to ignite their European Championship campaign against Slovenia.

The England manager is expected to keep faith with Phil Foden in Cologne. Conor Gallagher is expected to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield, but that may be Southgate’s only change.

Here is a sample of what Telegraph readers have been saying ahead of tonight’s game.

Tom Osborne: Good luck to Southgate but it seems an obvious error not to have a pacy runner beyond Kane on the left. Plus it is hard to see what Gallagher brings to the table over the likes of Mainoo or Wharton.Robert Sanderson: I don’t think Southgate is being defiant. He’s just picking what he thinks is the best team, after all he is the manager, and no one else.Tony Birtwistle: Football is simple game complicated by over thinking things or poor managers in Southgate’s case. Wholesale changes aren’t required just a couple, at most, to make the team function. For me it is quite clear who should play to enable this to happen and it is Anthony Gordon, not replacing another body in an overcrowded midfield, which was the main reason we have been so poor.Kiat Huang: And Southgate has been forcing players out of position: apart from AA in midfield, Foden on the left wing (better as a Sheringham to Kane), right-footed Trippier on the left (he plays on the right), Stones in defence (he’s now better in midfield).Tom Osborne: Good luck to Southgate but it seems an obvious error not to have a pacy runner beyond Kane on the left. Plus it is hard to see what Gallagher brings to the table over the likes of Mainoo or Wharton.Simon Young: The whole of England can see he needs to play Foden at number 10, ahead of Bellingham and Rice, with Gordon or Palmer on the left, but instead he picks journeyman Gallagher, who never played a killer pass in his life. 12:27PM

Who is Slovenia’s danger man? Benjamin Sesko is the physical ‘freak’ wanted by Arsenal – and now he faces England tonight.

His remarkable physicality, combined with frightening pace and deadly finishing, has helped to make Sesko one of Europe’s most exciting young forwards.

It speaks volumes of his talent that Arsenal were ready to pay more than £50 million for his services this summer, and that Chelsea were interested, too.

As England prepare to face Slovenia in their final group game of Euro 2024, Gareth Southgate will know that Sesko — now of German side RB Leipzig – poses the biggest threat. Sesko stands at 6ft 5in and was once clocked running at 22.5mph.

Read the full article here.


In case you missed it England have qualified for the last 16 of Euro 2024 with a group game to spare after Spain beat Albania 1-0 on Monday night.

Gareth Southgate’s side finish their group campaign tonight against Slovenia knowing they are already guaranteed to be in the last 16.

England will win Group C if they beat Slovenia, while they could still come top if they draw and Denmark fail to beat Serbia.


Are Slovenia a threat? England’s opponents tonight in Cologne is Slovenia managed by Matjaz Kek. Sam Dean has an in-depth scouting report on Kek’s side.

They have impressed at their first major tournament since Euro 2020 and could prove awkward opponents for Gareth Southgate’s side.


The scene for tonight The match is taking place at the Cologne Stadium (Rhein Energie Stadion) This 43,000-capacity venue is the home of Bundesliga side 1 FC Koln, and was constructed for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, although this is the third stadium that has existed on this same site in Cologne since 1923.

The 2020 Europa League final between Sevilla and Inter Milan was played here behind close doors during the Covid pandemic and the German national women’s cup final has been held at this venue since 2010.


Make your match and tournament predictions How do you think England will fare in their final group game tonight against Slovenia? Remember you can have your say not just on tonight’s game but also for the tournament.


Declan Rice feels ‘safe’ with Conor Gallagher by his side in England midfield Declan Rice on follow midfielder Conor Gallagher – the Chelsea midfielder is likely to start alongside Rice against Slovenia tonight:

I have played with him at academy level, played against him at Palace and Chelsea,” he told 5Live’s Football Daily podcast.

He is a team-mate I would love to have on my team, he works his socks off, you feel so secure and safe in there with him.

I think he has surprised so many people this year with his ability on the ball, how he breaks forward with it, how he gets into the box, scores goals.

I think he is a really positive player and he has come on so much over the past few years as well, you can really see that within himself how confident he is.

Every time I get to play with Conor Gallagher, it hasn’t been much, I have really enjoyed it because I know him really well as a guy, I know his family really well and he is a lovely boy and it is another great chance to stamp our mark.


England aim to defy critics against Slovenia By Theodore Gardener

Keen to prove the doubters and critics wrong, England face off against Slovenia at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne at 8pm (UK time) tonight.

It is the final group game of England’s Euro 2024 campaign. Their qualification was confirmed last night as Albania fell victims to a 1-0 loss from Group B winners – Spain.

The game holds a different meaning for Southgate’s men. An opportunity to guarantee a top-placed finish in their group, and an opportunity to get the nation back onside after a poor showing against Denmark as they stumbled to a 1-1 draw.

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer have come under criticism recently for their response to the draw, with Harry Kane saying: “All I would say is remember what it is like to wear the shirt and that their words are listened to. I am sure they want us to win a major tournament and being as helpful as they can and building the lads up with confidence would be a much better way of going about it.”

Tonight’s match not only gives England a chance to hit back at the criticism on the pitch, but also to kick start the rest of their campaign with a resolute victory.

It is familiar terrain for England as they have found themselves in the same position in their last two major tournaments – draws in their middle group game against Scotland and the USA followed by a statement victory against Czech Republic and Wales in the final group game. They will be hoping to emulate the same response tonight.

Southgate is expected to largely stick with the same line-up as was seen in the first two games. Reportedly, Premier League Player of the Season Phil Foden will keep his place in the side amidst criticism. The only change expected to be seen tonight is the dropping of Trent Alexander-Arnold, replacing him with the more midfield-accustomed Conor Gallagher.