England vs Sweden: Predicted England’s starting XI
England’s first penalty shoot-out win on the World Cup stage gave the country an added injection of confidence before they face Sweden on Saturday for a place in the semi-final.
Although England showed huge character against a physical Colombian side, questions will still be asked about their performance in an attacking sense.
England failed to create many chances against Colombia and with Dele Ali picking up a recurring thigh knock during that game, he is likely to be rested. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has impressed off the bench, will be the prime candidate to start.
Jamie Vardy is also highly doubtful to feature at all, as reports have revealed he picked up a groin injury towards the end of extra time, meaning Eric Dier took the final penalty.
Here is our predicted line-up against Sweden:
GK - Jordan Pickford
Made a heroic penalty save in the shoot-out and is a definite to start as England’s number one.
RWB - Kieran Tripper
Was outstanding once again on the right-hand side for England. Played the full 120 minutes against Colombia and his penalty was one of the best in the shoot-out.
CB - Harry Maguire
Won the majority of balls in the air against a fiery Radamal Falcao. Was a rock at the back and a certain to start.
CB - John Stones
Showed a lot of leadership in defence and was keen to keep pass out from the back. He hasn’t put a foot wrong yet in the tournament.
CB - Kyle Walker
Walker is another certain to start, he has been influential with Maguire and Stones.
LWB - Ashley Young
Young picked up an ankle knock and was forced off against Colombia. He has been announced fit for the Sweden game and Southgate will not want to disturb the defence too much.
CDM - Jordan Henderson
Never stopped working throughout the core of midfield for the 120 minutes and has impressed under Southgate. He was unfortunate with his penalty.
RAM - Ruben Loftus-Cheek
He is likely to replace Ali in the attacking midfield role for England. With Ali’s slight knock and unimpressive performances, Loftus-Cheek would be the one to start.
LAM - Jesse Lingard
Lingard has been playing with an ore of confidence following Southgate’s trust in him. He was not able to create a lot against Colombia but has shown enough to grant a start against Sweden.
ST - Raheem Sterling
Sterling has not been overly impressive throughout the whole of the tournament so far, however, he is a Southgate favourite and is likely to start.
ST - Harry Kane
Kane is the tournament’s top scorer and is on course for the Golden Boot. He has been clinical and produced for England when they’ve needed him.