Some England fans might look at these upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro as easy wins. Games that this England team should be winning fairly easily, but for the players, it’s more than that. This international break will be a chance for many to prove to Gareth Southgate that they deserve to be in the squad for the Nations League semi-final in the summer. A few players, namely Jordan Pickford, could be wanting to make up for some poor club form this season while others like Declan Rice and Jadon Sancho aim to have an impact in these qualifiers. However, it’s down to the players who make the starting 11 to prove to their manager that they’re the ones who should be consistently making the team and bringing home the trophy for England. With that being said, here is our predicted starting line-up for England’s first qualifier against the Czech Republic.
GK - Jordan Pickford
Pickford has a lot to prove in these games coming up, after a rocky season at Everton, he’ll need to prove to Southgate that he can still replicate his World Cup antics from last summer.
DEF - Kyle Walker
With Trent Alexander-Arnold pulling out late with a back injury, and Walker not being a constant starting player for City, now is the chance for him to stake his claim on England’s right-back position.
DEF - Harry Maguire
Maguire is currently having a fairly average season for Leicester but he’s still involved in goals and important defensive moments and he’ll be key for England.
DEF - Michael Keane
With John Stones pulling out of the squad through injury, this international break is the time for Michael Keane to step up and prove he can play a part for England going forward.
DEF - Luke Shaw
After having a stuttering United career, Luke Shaw is finally hitting his potential once again and is having a great run in the United side, if he can keep it going in an England shirt he’ll make himself an integral part to the line-up.
MID - Dele Alli
An easy pick for England’s midfield. Able to create chances and score goals, Dele should relish in this role for England.
MID - Eric Dier
Another Tottenham midfielder in the heart of the England side, Dier takes a more defensive approach to Alli as he links England’s defence and attacking force.
MID - Jordan Henderson
Henderson has been on and off for Liverpool this season, but at his best, he is still able to create chances and get back and defend, as well as being a natural leader. For England, he can be the main man in breaking up play and provide key passes moving forward. He was an injury doubt but has trained with the squad this week.
FWD - Raheem Sterling
Sterling has been in fine form this season, finding the net 15 times for Manchester City as well as getting nine assists. If he carries this form into these England games he’ll be a key player.
FWD - Harry Kane
The World Cup Golden Boot winner will want to hit the ground running once again for England.
FWD - Marcus Rashford
After faltering under Jose Mourinho, Rashford has been rejuvenated since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at United and is currently in some good form. England fans will be hoping to see this come to fruition with Rashford in the three lions shirt.