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Minute-by-minute report: How will Gareth Southgate’s depleted side fare against world champions Germany? Join Simon Burnton now

Simon will be here shortly. Meanwhile, read Danny Taylor on Gareth Southgate, a man to make big decisions.

In a moment of reflection this week, Gareth Southgate took it on himself to ask a member of staff at the Football Association to contact Manchester United and explain that the England manager did not intend to come across in such a bruising manner when he left Chris Smalling out of the last squad because, as he put it at the time, he needed players at the back who were better on the ball.

Southgate did not think he had been misquoted but his verdict on Smalling’s ability was always going to generate headlines and, a week on, it was clear he wished it had turned out differently. Smalling, he said, was entitled to be “upset and disappointed” by the publicity it created. “If I had been Chris, I would have gone: ‘That’s a bit unfair.’”