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Gareth Southgate has explained why he altered his winning England formula for the Euro 2020 clash with Scotland.

The Three Lions battled to a deserved 1-0 victory over Croatia in their opening Group D fixture last Sunday.

But Southgate chose to drop Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker from the XI to face Scotland on Friday night, with the latter omitted from the squad altogether.

Luke Shaw and Reece James came into the line-up, with Southgate asserting the duo's prowess on the ball played a key role in his decision.

"We think their technical ability with the ball is important for this game," said the England boss.

Southgate explained his starting XI changes ahead of the clash with Scotland
(Image: The FA via Getty Images)

"We were really pleased with the full-backs in the last game but we have a really good depth in that area of the pitch."

While the Three Lions boss was able to select an expanded 26-man squad for Euro 2020, he remains limited to choosing 23 players for each matchday.

Manchester City right-back Walker was one of the unfortunate trio to miss out against Scotland, alongside Arsenal winger Saka and Brighton centre-back White.

Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell were the three players to return to the squad.

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Southgate also suggested his changes were influenced by the ambitious team selection of Scotland boss Steve Clarke.

Speaking to ITV Sport, he added: "We know they will be better with the ball, Billy Gilmour and Scott McTominay and Kieran Tierney – it's a slightly different profile for their team but I would imagine a similar tactically approach.

"The system they play is attacking anyway, Gilmour is a very good footballer and they will look to build through him – he will add to that part of their game."

What did you make of Gareth Southgate's team selection for England vs Scotland? Have your say in the comments.

Meanwhile, when asked whether his side needed to be passionate or have cool heads, Southgate responded: "We have to have both, we've got to be ready for the game, we've got to find that performance level where the motivation is high and so is the performance but discipline is crucial, we have to keep everyone on the pitch and not make too many fouls."

England midfielder Declan Rice added: "The mentality has changed – we never go into a game expecting to win – we just want to think we can play well to win the game."

"They've got good players, they were unlucky against Czech Republic we need to be wary of the way they play, they have good players in Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson we'll be ready for anything – we want to impose the way we play and hopefully score a couple."

Rice also declared the game was the biggest of his career, adding: "We want to go out there and get the job done and qualify. It's a massive night all round and we need to put in a good performance."