England Predicted starting XI vs Croatia
England will play in their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years against Croatia this evening.
Gareth Southgate’s men secured an impressive 2-0 over Sweden in the quarter-final with goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli. Jordan Pickford also produced a few fine saves to merit a Man of the Match performance.
The Three Lions now face an even bigger challenge against Croatia, with a place in the final of the World Cup against France on the line.
Here is how we think England will line up:
GK - Jordan Pickford
England’s number one produced another Man of the Match performance in the quarterfinals against Sweden.
CB - Kyle Walker
Although the Sweden match wasn’t Walker’s greatest performance at the World Cup so far, he still is extremely important to England’s back three.
CB - Harry Maguire
Maguire was once again outstanding for England against Sweden and has become one of the standout performers at this World Cup. He will be one of the first names on Southgate’s teamsheet.
CB - John Stones
Southgate won’t want to disrupt the back-line at all throughout the knock-out phases and Stones is proving to be a huge character both on and off the field for England.
RWB - Kieran Tripper
England are not only reliant on Tripper’s defensive duties. Against Sweden, he showed how his attacking flair and set-piece deliveries are crucial for England.
LWB - Ashley Young
He too has shown how well he can get forward and how important his set pieces are. Despite calls for change, Young is unlikely to be replaced by Danny Rose at this late stage of the tournament.
CM - Jordan Henderson
The unsung hero for England so far at the World Cup. The Liverpool skipper has cemented his spot in the centre of midfield, allowing the two attacking midfielders to roam free, which has worked well. The likelihood is he will be tested a lot more against Croatia’s midfield.
AM - Jesse Lingard
Lingard has been the constant energy in the midfield for England so far and is always looking to play forward positively. Unlikely to be replaced.
AM - Dele Ali
Didn’t look 100% fit against Sweden, however, he got his goal in the second half which will have given him the confidence boost he needed.
ST - Raheem Sterling
Sterling will be criticised for his miss in the second half, which overshadows his best performance yet at this World Cup. He will be desperate for a goal to boost his own confidence.
ST - Harry Kane
England’s frontman has shown different sides to his game against Colombia and Sweden. Looks favourite for the Golden Boot and England will be looking to him to regain his goalscoring touch this evening.