A combination of injury, poor form and lack of match fitness mean that Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere are absent from the current England squad.
This lack of a creative spark is unlikely to cause too many problems against Malta on Saturday, but unlocking the Slovenian defence on Tuesday night could prove far more challenging.
ROSS BARKLEY, ADAM LALLANA & JACK WILSHERE
Since the beginning of the 2015/16 season, Barkley and Lallana have produced similar numbers in the Premier League, albeit that they have shone at different times.
The Everton and Liverpool playmakers have been directly involved in 18 and 16 top-flight goals respectively, achieving a nice balance between scoring and assisting:
|22Y 10M||AGE||28Y 4M|
|6FT 2IN||HEIGHT||5FT 8IN|
|11ST 13LB||WEIGHT||11ST 13LB|
|PL | EVE |||| LIV | PL|
|08/15 - 10/16||08/15 - 10/16|
Minutes on the pitch have proven harder to come by for Wilshere during this period, but he did score his only England goals in a 3-2 success in Slovenia back in June 2015.
Without any of this trio to call upon, the Three Lions must operate in a different way, though they may find it hard to utilise the pace of Jamie Vardy or Marcus Rashford against defences that will sit deep.
Dele Alli could therefore prove to be a key figure if he is afforded an opportunity to impress Gareth Southgate, arriving late into the box to catch the opposition by surprise.
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