This summer’s World Cup is edging ever closer, with hosts Russia kicking off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14th.
Excitement is building by the day, and England fans now know who will be representing the nation as manager Gareth Southgate has announced his 23-man squad that will fly out to Russia in a few weeks time.
There were a number of calls that Southgate had to make across the squad, which all relied heavily upon the formation he wishes to deploy against the world’s elite.
It looks like he will favour a 3-4-1-2 set-up with wing-backs providing the width and the two central-midfielders holding the fort in front of the back four.
19-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold has received his first senior call-up after an impressive debut season with Liverpool, whilst experienced centre-back Gary Cahill returns to the squad having missed out last time.
Other notable absentees include Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Manchester City’s Joe Hart, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.
One key decision Southgate will have to make is who starts in goal, with three strong contenders being named in Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Jack Butland.
This is how we think England will line up for their first Group F match, against Tunisia, on June 18th…
GK - Jordan Pickford - Two Caps
Jordan Pickford started every Premier League match for Everton this season as they finished eighth, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process.
RCB - Kyle Walker - 34 Caps
Kyle Walker is expected to play on the right of the three centre-backs, despite enjoying a successful season at right-back for Premier League champions Manchester City.
CB - John Stones - 24 Caps
John Stones has been unable to hold down a regular place this season under Pep Guardiola but is key to Gareth Southgate’s play from the back formula.
LCB - Harry Maguire - Four caps
Harry Maguire only made his England debut last October but has been impressive since making the switch to Leicester City for a substantial fee last summer.
RWB - Kieran Trippier - Five Caps
Kieran Trippier should start at right wing-back despite the presence of the uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold, who also plays on the right of defence.
LWB - Danny Rose - 16 Caps
Danny Rose is a teammate of Trippier’s at Tottenham Hotspur and is known for his attacking abilities as well as his defensive attributes.
CM - Eric Dier - 25 Caps
Eric Dier is one of the first names on the England team sheet in the centre of midfield. He has captained the side on three occasions.
CM - Jordan Henderson - 38 Caps
Jordan Henderson is likely to be involved in a two-way battle for the World Cup captaincy with Harry Kane, and could yet lift the Champions League before flying to Russia.
CAM - Jessie Lingard - 10 Caps
Jessie Lingard should play for his trickery and pace on the ball, He has one England goal to his name, against the Netherlands earlier this year.
ST - Raheem Sterling - 37 Caps
Raheem Sterling is often criticised for a lack of end product, but his Premier League stats this season beg to differ having registered 18 goals and 11 assists in 33 appearances.
ST - Harry Kane - 23 Caps
Harry Kane will be England’s leading goal threat in Russia with 12 international goals to his name and 30 in the Premier League season which has just finished.