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Dier calls for intensity in England's Lithaunia clash

25 March 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

Eric Dier has spoken about the importance of being “aggressive with the ball” ahead of England’s latest World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday (March 26).

Gareth Southgate’s men sit top of Group F going into the game at Wembley Stadium and are unbeaten after four matches in qualifying.

Of course, Lithuania’s last visit to the national stadium – almost two years ago to the day – saw a certain Harry Kane burst onto the scene, scoring 79 seconds after coming on for his debut.

But with Harry injured and Eric joined in the squad by Spurs team-mates Dele Alli and Kyle Walker – all of whom trained with the national team at Hotspur Way today (Saturday, March 25) – the versatile former Sporting Lisbon youngster says England will need to work exceptionally hard if they’re to enjoy a repeat of the 4-0 scoreline from that night back in March, 2015.

“In all internationals now there are no easy games to be honest – every team sets up to try and stop us, especially here at Wembley, so it’s going to be tough,” he told journalists at a pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I think we just have to be confident going into it, try to play quick, exciting football and hopefully they won’t be able to handle that. It’s key that we play with a lot of intensity and move the ball quickly. They’ll be in a low block in their half and try to make it difficult for us so we just have to be aggressive with the ball, move it quickly and hopefully create a lot of chances and make it exciting for the fans.”

Having often gone with a 4-2-3-1 shape in recent years, England played a three-at-the-back system in the midweek friendly in Germany – a formation familiar to Eric from our outings in recent months. While he normally lines up alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as part of that trio for us, Eric returned to a midfield berth in Dortmund, but insists he’s happy to operate wherever required.

“I’ve played both systems at my club now and both with England – I enjoy both,” he said.

“Both formations suit us. It’s a big thing for the manager and the squad to be adaptable, be able to play in different formations and pose different questions of the opposition. I enjoy both formations and I just enjoy playing really, no matter where it is.”