England head coach Gareth Southgate as gone on record to say he expects a “completely different challenge” from Kosovo then the one England had during their 4-0 triumph over Bulgaria on Saturday.
With the game seeing the top two sides in their Euro 2020 group battling it out at Southampton’s St Marys stadium, victory for the Three Lions would open up a 4 point gap with a game in hand over the rest of the group.
On the flip side defeat would see Kosovo leap frog them into top spot although England would still have the extra game in hand.
Speaking at the pre game press conference Southgate told reporters;
“It will be a very different style of game,” said Southgate.
“Kosovo will be very high pressing, hard working, a more attacking threat than we faced on Saturday. Maybe there will be more space to play up front. Whatever we learned from Saturday's game this is a completely different challenge.”
The visitors are also not taking their opposition lightly, but with a 15 game unbeaten run behind them, Kosovo’s head coach Bernard Challandes as asked his players to dream that they can beat England and extend that run!
He also had praise for the three lions as he said;
” We are Kosovo and we are here against one of the best teams in the world, in my opinion – the best team in the world.”
“I think it is in my philosophy that if we don't dream it is unnecessary to play such games, we should dream and do all that is possible to disturb England. If I say ‘we come to win', I think a lot of people think that is pretentious; if I say ‘it is not possible to win against England', I must change my job.
“It is clear for me it will be a very, very hard game but it is a possibility for our very young team to show what is a very, very high level.”
Team wise England came out of Saturday’s game with a full bill of health, but despite that Southgate is expected to make some changes to the side, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (pictured) and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold both expected to start.
The England manager did also confirm that skipper Harry Kane will again lead the side from the front after recording his second hat trick for England during the win over Bulgaria.
Speaking about his team selection the former defender said;
“We might freshen the team a bit, that will be important,” he said. “We don't need to, everyone is fit and available. We need to make sure we get the balance right.
“We need to get the right attacking and defending profiles to make sure we win the game.”