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Croatia v England: Three Lions require 'creative spark', Matt Le Tissier tells Sporting Life

Gareth Southgate oversees training on Tuesday
Gareth Southgate oversees training on Tuesday

International football returns this weekend and Gareth Southgate’s England are back in action as they travel to Croatia and Spain.

Matt Le Tissier spoke to Sporting Life regarding the potential new faces that could feature for the Three Lions and what sort of difference they could make for the team going forwards.


The Saints man picked out one man in particular who could hold the key to success for England, yet remained disappointed for obvious reasons:

“I’d like to see the likes of James Maddison getting a run out," Le Tissier said.

"I think he’s had a really impressive start to the season.

“I’m a bit disappointed actually as he was due to sign for Southampton before Leicester hijacked the move late on, and look at the way he’s started the season. That would have been massive if we would have had someone like him playing in that kind of form, but I’d like to see him get a chance."

James Maddison scored his first Premier League goal in just his second Leicester appearance
James Maddison has warmed to Premier League life

Maddison can provide something that may have been lacking in previous England sides, and Le Tissier believes that their futures with the national team are looking prominent and exciting.

He continued: “You’ve also got Mason Mount in the squad as well who has started well in the Championship under some good tutorage of Frank Lampard. It would be great to see those kind of guys given a good run-out and see what they’ve got. Jadon Sancho has started the season at Borussia Dortmund pretty well too.

“These are all guys who are forward-thinking players and have got that little bit of creativity that we seemed to lack at the World Cup, so I think that’s the biggest thing for me from these two games, to see those guys can get themselves in the team, on the ball and making a difference."

England's Jadon Sancho in action for Borussia Dortmund
England's Jadon Sancho in action for Borussia Dortmund


Betting

Croatia to win - 13/8 | Draw - 21/10 | England to win 9/5


Explained: Why England will play UEFA Nations League clash in Croatia in front of empty stadium

Mason Mount scores for Derby against Reading
Mason Mount has been impressive under Lampard

St Mary's legend Le Tissier feels it is something the fans want - and need - to see from their team, as there are improvements to make from a tournament full of positives.

“However well we did in the World Cup, there was a little lack of creative spark in the side and creating loads of chances so that’s the biggest [area].

“The formation is neither here nor there, so for the players that are picked, you want to see them create something and get you off your backside when you’re watching the game, that’s what football is all about.”

The youth system is a well talked about matter with England and Le Tissier considers it to be improving year-on-year, as well as being the best it has been under Southgate.

Ross Barkley: The 24-year-old is back in the frame with England
Ross Barkley: The 24-year-old is back in the frame with England

“I certainly think that Gareth has got more inclination than previous managers to get the youngsters through into the squad. He’s been working with a lot of those players at Under 21 level. Those boys that have played under him have a big advantage when it is time for the squads to be picked.”

The Soccer Saturday pundit added: “He knows what their strengths are, he’s already got an opinion on them and so they’re in a very good position when it comes to making the squad and making the team for Gareth.”

By Billy Lumsden

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Odds via Sky Bet and correct as of 1300 BST on 10/10/18

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our experts provide their best bets for Saturday's top-class racing, domestic football and the United States Grand Prix.

You can back the Sporting Life Accumulator at 75/1 on Saturday2

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package3

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

The latest from the back pages4

Saturday's Paper Talk

Southampton want former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim to replace Mark Hughes & Arsenal eye up Roma star in today's back pages.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action5

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

The Sky Bet Championship returns after the international break. We pick out our best bets in the Sky Bet EFL this weekend.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

You can back the Sporting Life Accumulator at 75/1 on Saturday

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

The Sky Bet Championship returns after the international break. We pick out our best bets in the Sky Bet EFL this weekend.