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EPL: Southgate expects Alli to be fit for Liverpool clash

England manager Gareth Southgate expects Dele Alli to be fit for Tottenham ’ s clash against Liverpool on Saturday after the midfielder was forced to withdraw from the squad to face Switzerland.

Alli was injured in England ’ s Nations League defeat against Spain on Saturday and has pulled out of Tuesday’ s friendly with the Swiss in Leicester .

But Southgate played down fears of a long absence for Alli , insisting the 22 -year- old will recover from the slight knock in time to play for Tottenham in their showdown with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

“He has just had a minor strain and should be fine for his club at the weekend I would think , but tomorrow ’ s game will come too quickly, ” Southgate told reporters on Monday .

Southgate will make a host of changes against Switzerland because he would rather look at potential players who can feature in his long -term plans rather than worry about results in a largely meaningless friendly.

The likes of Ruben Loftus- Cheek , Fabian Delph, Danny Rose and Danny Welbeck could all come into a new -look team alongside goalkeeper Jack Butland.

“I’ m comfortable in my own skin, ” Southgate said. “That focus will come on me and I’ m not concerned about it. Otherwise I’ d make decisions just to boost my win record .

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“We ’ re in a position now where it will help them at their clubs to get minutes with us . We ’ re trying to help them develop .

“A lot of the guys coming into the team (against Switzerland) have had zero minutes for their clubs . Ultimately the right thing is to give them game time, give them international matches , that’ s the reason we do it. It’ s important they all feel involved . ”

Southgate, who led England to their best World Cup finish since 1990 in the summer, once again refused to confirm whether he will sign a new contract with the Football Association .

The former Middlesbrough is currently under contract until after Euro 2020 and the FA are willing to extend that deal .
But Southgate has been coy when asked if he is ready to commit his long- term future to his country .

“We have had initial discussions as I said, that has been it, ” he said .
“For me I have to focus on the job in hand . I am contracted for the next 22 months and my focus is on tomorrow night and then building this team to be as competitive as it can be .

“This summer was an incredible experience for everybody, so they are the games that everyone wants to be involved in , beyond that I don ’ t want to get into details because that will be a distraction ahead of the game . ”

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Despite their impressive World Cup performance , England go into Tuesday’ s game against the Swiss aiming to avoid four successive defeats for the first time in their history following losses against Croatia, Belgium and Spain .

“Not many England sides have played a World Cup semi – final and third -placed play- off so these stats can be whatever you want them to be really , ” Southgate added .

“From our point of view we don ’ t want to be in the habit of losing matches but to play three teams of the quality we have in the last three matches is a very rare occurrence in international football so we have to focus on our performances , and improving as a team .

“Statistics can be whatever you want them to be. I’ ll have to live with whatever people want to say about my record. ”

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