England face Tunisia in their first game at the 2018 World Cup. Gareth Southgate will be looking to impress in Russia, to do this he will have to play his ‘best 11’.
The Three Lions squad has 23 good players, but who are the best 11 players in the squad?
I have picked the 11 players who I think Southgate should start against Tunisia. This is based on his favoured 3-4-3 formation.
Goalkeeper | Jordan Pickford | Everton |
He’s been given the number one shirt for the World Cup, and I think he deserves it. His season with Everton may have not started the best, but he finished well. There’s no denying that Nick Pope has also had a good season, but Pickford to me has shown that even with a ‘poor defence’ in-front of him, he can still show his brilliant goalkeeping ability.
Centre-Back | John Stones | Manchester City |
England’s number five, and a Premier League winning season at Manchester City. I’ve chosen John Stones as one of three centre-backs in the ‘best’ Three Lions starting XI. Stones is very good on the ball, and isn’t afraid to run at opponents or try an audacious pass. This could be something Southgate uses to his advantage, allowing Stones to travel up-field and link with the midfielders. Another great aspect of his game is his physicality. Big defenders are always good to have when facing many crosses or counter attacks, Stones can be relied upon to deal with most attacking threats.
Centre-Back | Gary Cahill | Chelsea |
Cahill brings great experience and a cool-head to the changing-room. This leadership can be transferred onto the pitch, and provide support to the other two centre-backs. He possesses the most caps of anyone in the squad, and his presence in the England starting XI will give his teammates an extra sense of surety.
Centre-Back | Harry Maguire | Leicester City |
A huge presence for both club and country, Maguire played every game of Leciester’s 17/18 Premier League season. The Sheffield-born centre-back is known to have many qualities to his style of play, one of which is his quality on the ball. Similar to Stones, Maguire is very comfortable on the ball, and isn’t afraid to run at opponents. As well as this, Maguire is ever-present in the box for corners, or set-pieces. He possesses great heading accuracy. Finally, Maguire also has great physical presence and won’t be afraid to challenge opponents for the ball.
Right-Wing-Back | Kyle Walker | Manchester City |
England’s number two, and another Premier League winner with Manchester City. Walker has been selected for his pace, defensive qualities, but also his offensive qualities. Walker’s pace could cause the opposition many problems, especially if he overlaps with the right-winger.
Left-Wing-Back | Fabian Delph | Manchester City |
The hardest position to chose. Though Ashley Young has had a tremendous season with Manchester United, I’ve opted for Fabian Delph. The newly-formed left-back has had a great season with Manchester City, winning the Premier League. His ability to pass the ball is one of his main attributes. His stamina is another. These will benefit the team massively.
Centre-Midfield | Dele Alli | Tottenham Hotspur |
Though he usually plays behind the striker, Alli can comfortably slot into the centre of midfield. He managed to score 14 goals in all competitions last season for Spurs. He possesses great vision, composure, stamina, and passing. Thee attributes will help the team both offensively and defensively.
Centre-Midfield | Ruben Loftus-Cheek | Chelsea |
His loan last season with Crystal Palace really shown his ability. Though he played some games on the left of midfield, Loftus-Cheek is mainly a centre-midfielder. He can pass he ball well, has great strength on the ball, and is fairly quick when running at opponents. I can see him linking-up well with Alli and the rest of the midfield.
Right-Wing | Raheem Sterling | Manchester City |
A player who will cause his opposition many problems due to his pace and dribbling ability. Sterling’s has great stamina as well. He has been a changed player since Pep Guardiola took over at City, Sterling will link-up with Walker, overlapping each other will cause problems for opponents.
Striker | Harry Kane (C) | Tottenham Hotspur |
The most obvious choice in the squad, and our captain for the World Cup. Harry Kane is hopefully the man to grab us the goals. He has 13 goals for England so far, and 41 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions last season for Spurs. Pundits has said Kane possesses brilliant leadership qualities, something that will help the whole team.
Left-Wing | Marcus Rashford | Manchester United |
Not much needs to be said about why Rashford is in this starting XI, when given freedom down the left-side of the pitch, he is very dangerous. He showed this most recently against Costa Rica.
England’s ‘best’ starting XI (3-4-3)
Maguire Cahill Stones
Walker Alli Loftus-Cheek Delph
Sterling Kane Rashford
Looking at this team it excites me to see how far England may go. Especially, if Southgate utilities the players correctly.
Do you agree with this side? Or do you feel Southgate could pick a better starting XI?