5 talking points as Gareth Southgate looks to turn around England’s fortunes

Gareth Southgate’s England side are out of form ahead of Monday’s clash with Germany.
(Image credit: Simon Marper)

England host Germany in the Nations League on Monday in their final match before the World Cup begins in November.

Gareth Southgate’s side have lost their last five games and have already been relegated from League A as preparations for Qatar falter.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the major talking points ahead of the Wembley clash.

Unwanted records

England suffered defeat in Italy to extend their winless run to five games.

England suffered defeat in Italy to extend their winless run to five games (Nick Potts/PA)

England are on a run of five competitive matches without a win for the first time in 30 years.

The Three Lions have never gone six competitive matches without a victory.

While Southgate will have more pressing matters on his mind going into Monday night’s game, he will not want to become the first manager to preside over such a record.

Drawing a blank

Harry Kane's penalty against Germany is England's only goal of the current Nations League campaign.

Harry Kane’s penalty against Germany is England’s only goal of the current Nations League campaign (Nick Potts/PA)

England have scored just once in their five Group A3 fixtures to date.

They are one of just two teams – along with San Marino – across the whole Nations League to not score from open play, with Harry Kane’s penalty in the draw at Germany their only strike so far.

Kane is likely to lead the line again at Wembley while Tammy Abraham and the uncapped Ivan Toney will be waiting in the wings.

Last chance saloon

Ivan Toney was left out of the England squad for the loss in Italy.

Ivan Toney was left out of the England squad for the loss in Italy (Mike Egerton/PA)

Toney was left out of the squad for Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Italy and is yet to make his debut.

With just 90 minutes of international playing time between now and the first game of the World Cup against Iran on November 21, Toney and other players looking to impress are running out of time.

Recent results mean Southgate is likely to name his strongest possible XI so any opportunity for those on the cusp of his World Cup squad may be fleeting.

Southgate on the boos

Southgate's applause of the travelling fans in San Siro was greeted by booing.

Southgate’s applause of the travelling fans in San Siro was greeted by booing (Antonio Calanni/AP)

As England slumped to a 4-0 Molineux mauling at the hands of Hungary in June, Southgate heard the ire of supporters for the first time.

Jeers met his substitutions as calls of “you don’t know what you’re doing” reigned down from the stands, before Southgate was again booed in Milan as he applauded the travelling support at full-time.

The Germany game will be the first at Wembley since those issues and it will be interesting to see how he is greeted.

A win would be handy for Hansi

Germany manager Hansi Flick could also do with a win in Monday's game.

Germany manager Hansi Flick could also do with a win in Monday’s game (Nick Potts/PA)

While England’s preparations for Qatar are not ideal, Germany are also struggling for victories.

A 5-2 home win over Italy is their only success in the past six games, which has also included four draws and a defeat to Hungary on Friday.

That form means Hansi Flick’s side cannot win Group A3, with Italy and Hungary going head to head in Budapest on Monday for a place in the finals.

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